The announcement by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison of the Government’s decision to allow all the 3930 eligible community pharmacies across Australia to join the COVID-19 vaccination rollout has been welcomed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia as a significant step in improving vaccination rates.
The National President of the Pharmacy Guild, Trent Twomey, said the decision would see thousands of community pharmacies delivering vaccinations where they are most needed.
“These pharmacies have undergone all the training and meet all the necessary criteria to provide this service for patients,” Adjunct Professor Twomey said.
“To date a handful of pharmacies in regional, rural and remote areas have been able to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to patients.
“But today’s announcement means patients across all of Australia will soon be able to access their COVID-19 vaccinations through their community pharmacy which is the most accessible health destination and often provides extended operating hours and access at weekends.
“These pharmacies are fully indemnified by the Government and informed consent protocols will be followed for patients.”
Mr Morrison said it was expected the pharmacies would be ready to begin administering the vaccinations in two weeks, with some in Sydney hotspots onboarded next week.
Adjunct Professor Twomey said including all eligible community pharmacies in the national vaccination strategy would have a marked impact on increasing the rate of vaccination delivery to communities across the country.
“Modelling by the Guild shows that bringing these pharmacies on board will speed up the rollout by several months, and this is great news for communities across Australia,” he said.
“And we know through international experience just how effective using community pharmacies in the COVID-19 vaccination rollout is. You only have to look at the United States where 99 million of the total 388 million vaccinations have been administered by pharmacists. And in Alberta, Canada, pharmacists have administered more than 42 per cent of the province’s vaccinations in four months.
“I congratulate the Government on this very pragmatic decision and the Guild looks forward to continuing its work with governments across all jurisdictions to help achieve maximum vaccination rates.”