Free influenza vaccines are off to great start in community pharmacies

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch today said Queenslanders have been coming out in droves to access free influenza vaccines through community pharmacies.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch President Chris Owen said this week’s announcement by the Palaszczuk Government that Queensland residents aged between 5 and 64 years are now eligible to receive a free influenza vaccination would mean more Queenslanders would likely choose to get vaccinated in Queensland community pharmacies.

“Almost 200,000 Queenslanders have already chosen to receive their influenza vaccinations through community pharmacies since March 1,” said Mr. Owen, “with this week’s announcement of free influenza vaccines until the end of June, we’re expecting that number to rise significantly.”

“Approximately 25,000 Queenslanders have already accessed a free influenza vaccine through community pharmacies in under four days, with tens of thousands of more bookings already made. I’m hearing from community pharmacists across the state that there has been a lot of interest from Queenslanders looking to take advantage of the free vaccines,” Mr. Owen said.

“The Guild has launched an easy-to-use booking website www.qldfreevax.com.au for Queensland residents who want to book a free influenza vaccination through their local community pharmacies.

“The Guild Corporate Health – Standing Offer Arrangement (SOA) currently in place with the Queensland Government, enabled us to move fast to give patients access to a free vaccine and provide Queensland Health and Pharmacies with a single reporting method. Under the Guild Corporate Health Program Community Pharmacies use GuildLink software to record the vaccination, check the Australian Immunisation Register in real time and claim a next day payment. Without this software and SOA, the State would not have been able to move so quickly.

“This week, community pharmacies across Queensland have seen a great increase in the number of calls from the public looking to access the free influenza vaccinations. To help pharmacists to get on with vaccinating, instead of calling, we strongly encourage all Queenslanders to visit the www.qldfreevax.com.au site to make an appointment at their preferred community pharmacy,” said Mr. Owen.

“With the increase in demand for vaccinations, there have been reports of some supply shortages. I’d encourage people to continue to be patient and check www.qldfreevax.com.au for more appointments to become available as community pharmacies are receiving more stock every day,” Mr. Owen said, “the free vaccines will continue to be on offer until 30 June.

“Similar to the COVID-19 vaccinations, influenza vaccinations will be administered by highly trained and qualified pharmacists who must attain a current first aid and CPR certificate and accreditation in anaphylaxis management.”

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