Community pharmacies stand ready to vaccinate Queenslanders against COVID-19

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland, announced today that community pharmacists stand ready to support the Queensland Government to rapidly deploy a COVID-19 vaccine once available. Community pharmacists are already fully trained and well-rehearsed in providing vaccinations to their local communities, with 2020 proving to be the largest influenza vaccine season to date. In recent months many Queensland community pharmacies reported administering more flu vaccinations over a few weeks than they did in the entire 2019 season.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland, announced today that community pharmacists stand ready to support the Queensland Government to rapidly deploy a COVID-19 vaccine once available. Community pharmacists are already fully trained and well-rehearsed in providing vaccinations to their local communities, with 2020 proving to be the largest influenza vaccine season to date. In recent months many Queensland community pharmacies reported administering more flu vaccinations over a few weeks than they did in the entire 2019 season.

Queensland Branch President, Professor Trent Twomey, said that while scientists worldwide work rapidly towards a vaccine for novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Queensland Government and primary healthcare professionals need to prepare a plan now to ensure that community access to future vaccines and treatments is accelerated and equitable.

“Rapidly deploying a COVID-19 vaccination in future will require all primary healthcare professionals to join forces and work together to protect vulnerable community members during a time when they are most at risk. On-going collaboration and coordination between the Queensland Government and health professionals is essential.”

“Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, has previously expressed how important it will be for the COVID-19 vaccine to be available to everyone and distributed as quickly as possible, including through local community pharmacies. She has acknowledged that community pharmacists are ready and mobilised to vaccinate.”

“The Pharmacy Guild of Australia asks the Queensland Government to use the strengths of community pharmacists to rapidly and safely deploy vaccines. After the largest flu vaccination season ever, community pharmacists stand ready and waiting to continue administrating vital vaccines.”

“We would like to see the future COVID-19 vaccine subsidised equally for all primary healthcare professionals through the National Immunisation Program (NIP). All healthcare professionals should be equally subsidised through the NIP when providing the same service and give all patients the opportunity to choose the most convenient healthcare option for them at any given time.

“The community took flu vaccinations very seriously this year and a large portion of Queenslanders have accessed their shots through their local community pharmacy, which is typically less than 2.5km away. Utilising community pharmacies for administering the time-critical COVID-19 vaccination will ensure rapid deployment and accessibility for many Queenslanders” said Professor Twomey.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia is pleased to continue collaborating and supporting coordination of this on-going public health effort with the Queensland Government.

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