Sigma speaks out about its plans to help with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program
Sigma says that most of its pharmacy brands, including Amcal, Guardian, and Discount Drug Stores, are intending to offer COVID-19 vaccines as part of the formal expression of interest process ahead of Phase 2 vaccination rollout later this year.
The pharmacy network has also announced a raft of new preparedness measures, including additional training activities and the supply of both domestically and globally sourced vaccination equipment to assist teams to safely manage customer demand.
This follows Sigma’s recent announcement that a COVAX working group, chaired by Sigma Chief Pharmacist, Brinley Hosking, has been established to assist its network of 1,850 pharmacies over the coming months and into the future.
Ms Hosking said that Sigma remains focused on serving its pharmacy brands, so pharmacists at the frontline can confidently manage expected vaccination demand as part of Phase 2 of the Government’s rollout.
“Right now, we know there is robust industry discussion playing out on how the rollout will be delivered and while we remain close and active in these conversations, planning and preparation is critical, so we are doing all that we can now to set up our teams for success,” said Ms Hosking.
“Our intention remains the same—to enable our pharmacies to deliver the vaccine safely, efficiently and easily.
“To that end, our customer survey revealed most of our partners intend to offer the vaccine as part of Phase 2 rollout, so we are bulk sourcing a range of items that our pharmacies may require in preparation for the surging customer demand we expect to see throughout this year.
“These items include vaccine fridges, sharps disposal bins, defibrillators and PPE items. In addition, we’re offering additional vaccination training opportunities for our pharmacy teams so we can support those on the frontline.
“This includes the rollout of Sigma-exclusive vaccination training sessions for our pharmacies who want to train up more pharmacists.
“This will enable more pharmacists to administer a variety of vaccines, including influenza and COVID-19 vaccines, so our customers can ensure their teams are ready to administer vaccinations as soon as possible and we can increase accessibility of vaccines for patients across our strong national footprint,” said Ms Hosking.