Queensland Community Pharmacies lead way in rolling out COVID-19 vaccine

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch’s Acting President, Chris Owen, welcomed the announcement from the Federal Government that 49 community pharmacies across Queensland would begin offering free COVID vaccinations to members of the community commencing 7 June 2021.

Mr. Owen was joined by National Executive Director, Ms. Suzanne Greenwood, who received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Footes Pharmacy Boonah, a community pharmacy in Boonah, Queensland. They were also joined by Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, the Hon Mark Coulton MP and Hon Scott Buchholz MP, Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport.

Mr. Owen said that Queensland was once again leading the way nationally, being the first pharmacies in Australia to be able to offer the vaccine to community members.

“We’re very proud to once again be leading the way in Queensland,” said Mr Owen. “The Federal and State Government have shown great leadership in ensuring Queensland Pharmacies would be able to make sure communities across Queensland would have access to the COVID-19 vaccines.”

“I know as Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, Minister Coulton, understands many Queenslanders don’t have easy access to other primary healthcare services or local GP clinics.”

“Community pharmacies are highly accessible with 97% of consumers in capital cities and 65% in regional areas living within 2.5km of a pharmacy. Pharmacies are also the most frequently visited primary healthcare destinations, and staff are well placed for significant interactions with members of the public,” said Mr. Owen.

“Given the need to vaccinate as many Queenslanders as quickly as possible and the decentralised nature of our state, we thank the Federal Government for leading the way and ensuring that as frontline primary healthcare professionals, community pharmacies are part of the solution.

“While we are very grateful for the Federal Government’s leadership in this area, I would also like to pay particular tribute to Queensland’s Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Ath. Minister D’Ath’s forward thinking, and leadership have ensured Queensland is in the great position it is,” Mr Owen said.

“Community pharmacies have a proud history of being at the forefront of supporting patients through the best primary healthcare practices,” said Mr Owen, “We were the first state to provide critical vaccination programs and advance women’s healthcare through the Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot – Queensland (UTIPP-Q) through community pharmacies.”

“The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine is the most critical health initiative in our generation, and community pharmacies are well placed to deliver.”

“Anyone administering a COVID-19 vaccine in community pharmacies will undergo training with the Australian College of Nurses on this specific vaccine.”

“We look forward to working closely with both Federal and State Governments to quickly increase the number of community pharmacies involved in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to improve patient accessibility,” said Mr. Owen.

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