By Juliano Oliveira
Over 200 metropolitan community pharmacies in Queensland will start delivering COVID-19 vaccinations following the Commonwealth’s offer of an extra 150,000 doses of AstraZeneca to the state.
The expectation is that pharmacies on the National Immunisation Program would be able to offer these extra AstraZeneca doses within days.
“We’ve had 131 community pharmacies in regional and out-metro areas rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine. At the end of this week, we should be able to offer access to community members right across Queensland,” Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch’s Acting President, Chris Owen, said.
“Community pharmacies are highly accessible, with 97% of consumers in capital cities and 66% in regional areas living within 2.5 km of a pharmacy. Pharmacies are also the most frequently visited primary healthcare destinations.”
Mr Owen said community pharmacies would begin offering the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in September this year.
“Anyone administering a COVID-19 vaccine in community pharmacies has undergone the Commonwealth’s mandatory training with the Australian College of Nurses on this specific vaccine.”
“If you’re over 18, discuss with your community pharmacist about getting the vaccine.”
“Regardless of your age, when you arrive at your community pharmacy, we will undertake a health assessment about the risks and benefits of the vaccine. Both the patient and vaccinator need to be satisfied that the benefits outweigh the risks before the vaccination takes place,” said Mr Owen.
In a public statement to the media, Queensland Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, said that only 18.47% of Queenslanders are fully vaccinated.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath seized the moment to call on the Federal Government for additional Pfizer supply.
“Queensland Health can rapidly increase its Pfizer vaccinations, provided the Morrison Government can get us more supply.
“We’re calling on the Morrison Government to do more to secure Queensland with extra Pfizer in the fight against the highly infectious Delta strain,” Ms D’Ath said.
A list of community pharmacies taking part in COVID-19 vaccine administration can be found here. More community pharmacies will be added later this week.