Thousands of community pharmacies and additional GPs across Australia will be invited to join the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
This additional workforce will be brought on board to support pharmacies and GPs already delivering COVID-19 vaccines in cities, regional, rural and remote areas, as well as areas with a COVID-19 outbreak.
To date, 118 community pharmacies are currently vaccinating across the country and over 470 community pharmacies will be vaccinating by the end of July 2021.
From Monday, over 3,900 community pharmacies who have expressed interest in joining the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and who have previously been found suitable, will also be invited to participate.
This includes 1,262 suitable community pharmacies from regional, rural and remote areas and 1,668 suitable community pharmacies that have also been identified in metropolitan areas.
Pharmacies who have not yet expressed interest will also be offered the opportunity to participate, as well as any GPs that are not yet participating in the rollout.
Community pharmacy is an essential part of the Australian health care system and pharmacists are highly accessible health care professionals who provide patients with access to vital medicines, health care services and support.
Community pharmacies across Australia have kept their doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic to support their patients and will now play a crucial role in vaccinating Australia.
The National COVID Vaccine Taskforce is continuing to work with state and territory Governments to accelerate the vaccination program and ensure the nation has broad coverage of primary care sites across the country who are delivering the COVID-19 vaccine.
In the past week, the Taskforce has been fast tracking the on-boarding of community pharmacies in the Local Government Areas of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool, with 48 pharmacies to commence offering vaccines in these areas by the start of next week.
It is anticipated that pharmacies wishing to administer AstraZeneca vaccines will commence vaccinating from mid-August.
In addition, community pharmacy will also participate in the rollout of the Moderna vaccine from September.