19 Aug 2021

Useful Covid-19 Resources

The team at SF Capital are committed to supporting all our clients as much as we can during this period of extended lockdown. We understand that everyone is experiencing the impact of the pandemic to varying degrees. We are ready to stand by our clients as the lockdown continues to present unprecedented challenges to individuals, families and businesses.

We are putting together a list of resources, to be updated regularly, which are intended to help or direct you to find the help that you may need in the current situation.

Where can I get vaccinated in NSW?

All adults in Greater Sydney are strongly encouraged to book in for a Covid-19 vaccine. For information on how to get your vaccination, visit the NSW Health website.

  1. Use Service NSW’s vaccine booking and clinic finder to book your vaccination appointment.
  2. Anyone aged 18 and over in Greater Sydney can visit a walk-in AstraZeneca vaccination clinic. Walk-in clinics do not require a Medicare card or a GP referral.
  3. Anyone aged 16 to 39 and who live in the 12 Local Government Areas (LGA) of concern in NSW may be eligible to make a booking to get a Pfizer vaccine at a number of NSW Health clinics from Thursday 19 August. Visit the NSW Health website for more information.

After you have had your vaccine, you’ll be able to get a proof of vaccination from your Medicare immunisation history through myGov.

Evidence-based information about Covid-19

With new developments on Covid-19 every day, we continually come across information from a variety of sources, including the media, on the management of the Covid-19 outbreak and the best approach to protect ourselves and our families. However, it is important to be referencing sources of information and advice that is evidence-based.

  1. Evidence-based answers to common concerns and questions over Covid-19 vaccines
  2. The modelling of Covid-19 infection and vaccination used to define the target level of vaccine coverage
  3. ATAGI Statement in response to the Delta variant outbreak
  4. Information to help health care providers to weigh up the benefits against risks of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Dealing with Covid-19 & Vaccine Misinformation

Misinformation and conspiracy theories about the origin of Covid-19 and the effectiveness of vaccines are aplenty, and many of them, unfortunately, cloud people’s judgement and decision-making in dealing with Covid-19.

As people around the world are facing an unprecedented public health emergency, we find many of these claims not only harmful because they discourage vaccination, when promoted widely they are inevitably disruptive to the co-ordinated efforts that our country’s leaders are putting in to keep our community safe during this crisis.

We outline below our view on some of the most common myths that have been circulating online.

Claim #1 – “The Covid-19 vaccine will kill you”

Vaccination against Covid-19 is still the single most effective way to reduce severe illness and death from infection. The most frequently reported suspected side effects associated with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines continue to be events that were seen in clinical trials, and commonly experienced with many vaccines.

To 15 August 2021, the cases of TTS (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome), blood clots with low blood platelets, total 112 from 8.1 million doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine administered; and there have been 6 deaths linked to TTS. Out of 41,522 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Australia, there have been 971 deaths. The protective benefits of vaccination against Covid-19 far outweigh the potential risks of vaccination.

Source: Therapeutic Goods Administration

Claim #2 – “The Covid-19 vaccine contains a microchip for people surveillance”

There is a conspiracy theory that falsely claims that Bill Gates had planned to use Covid-19 testing and eventual vaccines to track people and their movements with microchips. It has already been reported that the claim was confused with unrelated research (MIT) funded by the Gates Foundation. The research technology was an invisible dye imprinted on a patient’s skin that could be scanned with a smart phone as being a record of vaccination – a solution to the problem of poor immunisation record-keeping in developing countries. This technology does not have the capacity to track movements.

While Gates has indicated that “digital certificates” could be used as part of a larger vaccination effort, there is no evidence that him or the Foundation has created technology to track recipients (movements) of Covid-19 vaccines – digital certificates are used to send encrypted information online, and they actually relate to efforts to create an open source digital platform with the goal of expanding access to safe, home-based testing.

Source: factcheck.org

Claim #3 – “The cause of Covid-19 is linked to 5G communication technologies”

Covid-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth or nose. Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. Covid-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.

Source: World Health Organization

Claim #4 – “The mRNA vaccines will alter human DNA”

The mRNA vaccines rely on the messenger RNA to carry genetic information needed to make proteins to trigger an immune response specific to Covid-19. The instruction to the cells is to produce a protein that resembles part of the Covid-19 virus.

DNA is stored in the protected centre of our cells – the nucleus. The mRNA is broken down quickly by the body. The period of time that the mRNA survives in the cells is relatively brief, in a span of hours. It never enters the nucleus, and cannot affect or combine with our DNA in any way to change our genetic code. 

There is a difference between DNA and mRNA – “DNA, which makes up our genetic code, is larger, double stranded and very long; the mRNA is a single stranded copy of a small part of the DNA, which is often released to send instructions to other parts of the cell.”

Source: Department of Health, Commonwealth of Australia

Claim #5 – “The Covid-19 mortality rate is lower than the flu”

The World Health Organization estimates that 290,000 to 650,000 people die of flu-related causes every year worldwide. Since December 2019, there have been 4,393,059 deaths from Covid-19 globally. By comparison, Covid-19 is a more deadly illness than seasonal influenza.

Local and global Covid-19 statistics

An Australian-based website COVID LIVE publishes live data on confirmed Covid-19 cases each State and Territory in Australia. Statistics are also captured from worldwide.

Our World in Data captures the research and data on Covid-19 cases, deaths, vaccination and policy for each country, with a time series since February 2020.

A snapshot (18 August 2021) of where Australia is at in terms of key Covid-19 data is presented in an infographic which is continually updated. Periodic updates on the Australian Government’s vaccine roll-out, including pandemic response payments, is presented in this summary pack (18 August 2021).

Mental health assistance

Mental health experts say that mental wellbeing plays a big part towards the body’s response to infection and recovery from illness. It is therefore vital that we look after our mental wellbeing during this pandemic. Help is available and the following channels might be useful for you:

  1. Access to SafeWork NSW’s direct practical coaching for managers and staff in dealing with mental health at work
  2. Beyond Blue has a Covid-19 mental wellbeing support service. A free and confidential coaching program called NewAccess is also available to give small business owners, including sole traders the support they need
  3. Head To Health is a platform that provides digital mental health resources from trusted service providers
  4. Black Dog Institute has Covid-19 specific resources and tools to help anyone dealing with stress and anxiety
  5. Consult with your GP to be referred to a qualified mental health professional.

Financial stress assistance

The following resources may assist you in handling financial stress and alleviate the sustained impact on mental wellbeing.

  1. Beyond Blue has published resources with the aim of helping people with managing their financial wellbeing
  2. National Debt Helpline gives assistance with providing access to financial counsellor
  3. The National Debt Helpline has also released a Covid-18 Financial Survival Guide.

Deferring Mortgage Loan Repayments

If you are experiencing difficulty financially and would like help with your mortgage loan repayments by way of a deferral, the major banks are offering this as part of a unified response to the current lockdown. Refer to our earlier article on how to apply for loan deferral with each major bank.

Contact SF Capital

Our thoughts are with everyone who is living under the current lockdown situation. SF Capital’s brokers are standing by our clients and are ready to help in any way we can. Please contact any one of our team members should you need to talk about your situation. Stay safe and well!