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Thursday, December 7, 2023

More pharmacists to join COVID-19 vaccine rollout nationwide

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The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) said it welcomes yesterday’s announcement from the Prime Minister that all approved community pharmacists will finally be permitted to vaccinate against COVID-19.

Prime Minister Morrison announced that all approved community pharmacies will be able to request AstraZeneca vaccinations from Monday, July 26.

PSA National President, Associate Professor Chris Freeman, said pharmacists around the country will welcome this news.

“Today is the day that we have been waiting for and PSA is pleased that pharmacists will finally be able to fully contribute to the vaccine rollout,” he said.

“PSA has been working tirelessly with all governments to secure maximal pharmacist involvement since the vaccine rollout commenced.

“This is the patient-centric approach that Australia has been waiting for – and will expedite completion of the rollout.

Freeman said in countries around the world, including the UK and the United States, there has been utilisation of local pharmacist immunisers, which has allowed them to reach their respective vaccination targets on schedule.

“The Federal Government’s indemnity scheme already covers pharmacists administering COVID-19 and they are fully equipped with the knowledge and resources to effectively deliver the vaccine to their communities,” he said.

“Pharmacists will be able to target those at-risk Australians, particularly the elderly, who remain unvaccinated – negating the need to queue at mass vaccination hubs for extended periods of time.

“Seeing that your local pharmacist is now offering vaccinations will normalise the vaccine itself and will help combat both hesitancy and complacency.

PSA has called on all states and territories to update their regulations to ensure as many eligible Australians can access the vaccine as soon as possible.

Freeman said PSA is dedicated to supporting pharmacists in delivering the COVID-19 vaccine both safely and effectively to the public, and pharmacists are ready to advance Australia out of the pandemic.

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