COVID vaccination and community pharmacy

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Australia’s 5,800 community pharmacies are set to play a vital role in the vaccination of the Australian population against COVID-19.

The National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, George Tambassis, said talks this week with the Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, had confirmed the absolutely essential contribution of community pharmacies to the COVID vaccination task. We thank the Minister for the support and confidence he has shown in community pharmacy.

“Make no mistake - this is the biggest public health challenge Australia has ever faced, and community pharmacies are an essential component in this enormous logistical exercise,” Mr Tambassis said.

“Trained community pharmacist immunisers are standing ready to make a significant contribution to the health workforce charged with administering these vaccines to all Australians who wish to be vaccinated,” he said.

“Through advocacy, training and commitment, pharmacists are now authorised to administer vaccines across all jurisdictions in Australia.

“Pharmacist immunisers are now providing significant and demonstrable public health dividends - through the millions vaccinated against influenza at their local pharmacy in 2020, and now as community pharmacists add to the health workforce preparing to administer these absolutely essential vaccines,” he said.

“Pharmacists are trusted health professionals, and local pharmacies are the most accessible health infrastructure in the country - it just makes sense to utilise these key assets,” he said.

Community pharmacists will be vaccinating patients from Phase 2a of the national vaccine roll-out strategy, giving millions of Australians the option of having their vaccination at their local pharmacy.

Pharmacists and pharmacy assistants will be vaccinated as part of Phase 1b, recognising their essential role as health care workers, and standing them in good stead to advise and assist patients seeking information on the vaccine.

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