Govt spruiks community pharmacy vax

The Federal Government is now running a new TV ad promoting community pharmacy AstraZeneca vaccinations and proper patient etiquette

After an initial delay to their entry into the vaccination rollout, community pharmacies have now been wholeheartedly embraced by the Federal Government as several states and territories battle outbreaks of the Delta strain.

The Federal Government is now running an authorised television advertisement promoting community pharmacy’s full inclusion in the rollout. Its advertisement, shot at Chris Owen’s pharmacy in Brisbane, shows an older couple entering the pharmacy to attend their vaccination appointment.

The masked-up couple very appropriately check in with QR codes and hand sanitise before properly entering the store.

They are then ushered into a private consultation room to receive their vaccine, while two other patients wait quietly sitting – masked up and spaced out properly, of course.

“COVID-19 is still affecting all our lives, but we know vaccines can prevent serious illness or death,” the advertisement narrator says.

“That’s why more community pharmacies across Australia are now providing AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccinations.

“This gives you, your family and your loved ones more opportunity to get vaccinated.”

Pharmacist Laleh Salehi then shares how viewers can find a vaccinating community pharmacy near them, with patients able to use the Find-a-pharmacy map online.

This week all remaining eligible Australian pharmacies were onboarded to begin administering AZ vaccines to their communities as soon as possible.

Under the “accelerated and simplified” rollout, 3,500 pharmacies will have more vaccines in their fridges and be able to vaccinate more Australians.

However one pundit recently queried why pharmacists were left out of the rollout for so long and wondered to what extent doctors were involved.

“Why, way back when, did the government put so much weight on the doctors in delivering the early months of the rollout?” asked Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra and veteran political journalist Michelle Grattan in a piece in The Conversation late this week.

“The pharmacists have only recently been brought in. If they’d been involved from near the start, we would likely be in a lot better position, at least with the AstraZeneca coverage.”

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