Regional pharmacies join COVID vaccine rollout

Regional pharmacies join COVID vaccine rollout

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The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed the involvement of local pharmacies in SA's vaccination strategy, but is calling for full utilisation of the pharmacist workforce. PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed the involvement of local pharmacies in SA's vaccination strategy, but is calling for full utilisation of the pharmacist workforce. PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

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LOCAL pharmacists have begun vaccinating their communities against COVID-19 using the AstraZeneca vaccine at selected pharmacies in regional SA.

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LOCAL pharmacists have begun vaccinating their communities against COVID-19 using the AstraZeneca vaccine at selected pharmacies in regional SA.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed the involvement of local pharmacies in SA's vaccination strategy, but is calling for full utilisation of the pharmacist workforce.

PSA has been working closely with the SA Government to secure pharmacist involvement in the strategy since the vaccines were made available in the country.

PSA SA branch president Robyn Johns was amongst the first handful of community pharmacists vaccinating patients in Littlehampton today.

"It was wonderful to be on the frontline today, immunising the Littlehampton community against COVID-19 - but disappointingly, pharmacist involvement in the rollout is still incredibly limited," she said.

"Data shows that 43 per cent of Australians over the age of 50 years still haven't had their first dose yet and local pharmacists can bridge this immunisation gap.

"As evidenced here in the pharmacy today, local pharmacists can target at-risk Australians, particularly the elderly who may be hesitant to commute to or queue at these hubs for extended periods of time.

"Littlehampton is about 30 to 40 minutes away from Adelaide's CBD, and given the close proximity to the state's capital city, why can't metropolitan pharmacists play their part?

"We already have a skilled, trusted, experienced, and easily accessible vaccinator workforce at governments' disposal - so we must activate them now."

PSA said it was dedicated to supporting pharmacists in delivering the COVID-19 vaccine both safely and effectively to the public, and pharmacists were on standby to support the strategy.

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