It has been more than two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and community pharmacies continue to play a big role in helping every Australian become vaccinated and protected from the virus.
Additionally, as the flu season starts to peak around August, it is very important to get vaccinated, as this is a way to protect and save other people, especially those who are too sick, old, or young to get immunised.
According to former Senator Kristina Keneally, the more people vaccinated, the less likely the disease will spread.
What is more interesting is that getting these vaccinations at community pharmacies is easy and convenient. The pharmacists giving these vaccinations are skilled and have completed appropriate training before they can administer the shot.
Immunisation Program Expansion at Community Pharmacies
To provide improved access to vaccines, the Western Australian Government made an expansion of the Community Pharmacy Immunisation Program, and those five years old and above will benefit from this.
As cited by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, the scope of this expansion program include the following:
Flu shots for people 5 years old and above, including Aboriginal people, people with medical conditions that increase their risk of influenza, and pregnant women.
Vaccinations for adolescents such as Human papillomavirus (HPV), Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (dTpa), and Meningococcal ACWY.
Influenza vaccinations for primary school-aged children.
Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccinations for persons born after 1965 who have had less than two doses.
Currently, the administration fee of the vaccines will be shouldered by the patients. Meanwhile, the Guild is advocating the Commonwealth government cover these costs as the Guild believes that, although the fee is for convenience and accessibility, it does not mean that patients should make this payment every time they get a shot.
National Immunisation Program (NIP) in Queensland
The pilot for the National Immunisation Program will also be offered to more than 70 community pharmacies across Queensland, and according to Mr. Chris Owen, the Queensland Branch President of the Guild, this Pilot program means better access to affordable influenza shots.
Queenslanders above 65 years old who do not have immediate access to general practitioners or NIP vaccine providers will benefit from this program the most.
According to Mr. Owen, there are many communities in Queensland that do not have enough general practitioners and clinics but have access to community pharmacies. For eligible Queenslanders, getting these flu shots from these pharmacies is vital.
7 Million COVID-19 Vaccinations: Immunisation Milestone of Community Pharmacies
According to the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, as of May 6, 2022, pharmacists from the community industry across Australia were able to administer 7 million COVID-19 vaccines.
As stated by Mr. Trent Twomey, the National President of the Guild, the use of community pharmacies in this COVID-19 rollout has been successful. These establishments not only helped the country but also the businesses and community to get on with life.
One reason why these community pharmacies are popular for getting safe COVID-19 vaccinations is that they are accessible to all Australians.
Most community pharmacies are open even during weekends and close late, making them convenient for people who want to get vaccinated anytime they want to.
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