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Pharmacists push to join the COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Gary Adshead
Article image for Pharmacists push to join the COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Pharmacists are frustrated they can’t help with the vaccine rollout, despite putting their hands up months ago.

Supply shortages hampered the early rollout, but Australia is now producing more vaccines every week than can be administered by existing providers.

Pharmacy Guild of Australia president Professor Trent Twomey said other developed countries have had success utilising pharmacists on the front line and that Australia should follow suit.

“Those jurisdictions that have utilised all vaccinators including community pharmacy have been able to achieve vaccination rates a lot higher and a lot quicker,” he told 6PR’s Gary Adshead.

“There are 511 pharmacies in WA that have been approved by the commonwealth government to be COVID-19 vaccination centres, and yet not one of those has been approved in Western Australia yet to start administering the vaccine.

“We are putting more in freezers than in arms, and it’s about time they activated pharmacies so we can get the population vaccinated.”

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Australian Medical Association president Dr Omar Khorshid said Australia still doesn’t have enough vaccines to allow pharmacists to administer the jab.

“The government is concentrating the number of practices, so each one has a reasonable number of doses to give out each week,” he said.

“So the more we divide that up, the less efficient the vaccine process will be.”

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Gary Adshead
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