The week in review

Perhaps unsurprisingly, COVID-19 vaccination was the talk of the pharmacy sector this week

On Friday a major change to the vaccine rollout was announced: all eligible pharmacies are now to start vaccinating in days, but veteran journalist Michelle Grattan wanted to know why they’d been shut out so long: could it be due to the doctors’ lobby? In more good news, the general public has been responding enthusiastically to being able to receive their AstraZeneca jab in community pharmacy, reported Pharmacy Guild NSW president David Heffernan, who tweeted an image of a long line of patients waiting for their jab outside a southwestern Sydney store.

Meanwhile pharmacist and Labor politician Emma McBride provided a full and frank discussion of pharmacists’ feelings about the rollout in Canberra, telling the federal government that pharmacists are frustrated and feel that it’s been botched. When Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said pharmacies could provide second doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to partially-vaccinated people, the RACGP and AMA criticised the idea.

And PDL offered advice on COVID vaccination, looking at risk management and informed consent.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said that pharmacy is one option being looked at as a location for COVID surveillance testing. GP pharmacist Mayli Foong talked about the activities undertaken by GP pharmacists… and the outcomes of their work.

The TGA announced a shortage of multiple presentations of tocilizumab (Actemra). Sexual health physician Dr Terri Foran looked at myths and barriers around emergency contraception via pharmacists. MedAdvisor signed a five-year deal with API.

And congratulations to Friendlies Discount Pharmacies, which is celebrating 100 years since the opening of its first store in Maryborough, Queensland, in October 1921; and to Zoe Robinson, who was named Pharmacy Student of the Year.

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