Grants to ‘turbocharge’ rollout


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Community pharmacies in key LGAs of Victoria are being offered grants of $4,000 and up to $10,000 to help them use their full COVID-19 vaccine allocations

The Victorian Government is offering grants of $4,000 and up to $10,000 to community pharmacies and GPs in 11 key LGAs across Melbourne, helping them to “turbocharge” the local rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Its scheme aims to help participating providers use their full vaccine allocations and promote points of access in their local communities, supporting them to fund additional workforce or operational costs associated with the effort.

Grants of $4,000 will be available to 120 providers who are successful through an Expression of Interest process.

Up to 10 grants can be increased to $10,000 if providers can demonstrate further capacity to deliver.

The first locations for these grants will be suburbs in Moreland – however, the EOI will be open to all pharmacies and GPs in the priority LGAs of Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Greater Dandenong, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Melton, Whittlesea and Wyndham.

“What matters is not the name of the vaccine, or whether it’s stored in a fridge at a small clinic or a mass vaccination centre – what matters is getting it into people’s arms, and that’s what these grants are all about,” said Premier Daniel Andrews.

“Supply to our GPs and pharmacies is improving, and this is a great opportunity for the Commonwealth to provide even more doses to local settings in areas with the most cases.”

Victorian branch president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Anthony Tassone, said the Guild welcomed the announcement from the Victorian government to help boost capacity of pharmacies and general practices to expand COVID-19 vaccination services in the areas of greatest urgency and need.

“As the most frequently visited and accessible primary care destination in Australia, pharmacies are already playing a major role in the COVID-19 vaccine roll out with almost 700,000 doses delivered nationally and almost 130,000 doses in Victoria alone to date,” said Mr Tassone.

“With the arrival of Moderna into pharmacy fridges, these numbers are already increasing quickly.

“As the Premier has said, it does not matter where the vaccine is stored and where it’s been administered from, as long as it reaches a patient’s arm.

“Every little needle in an arm is a little win and another small step towards easing COVID restrictions and returning to the things we love,” he said.

“The public trust their local pharmacists and initiatives that help expand services at their pharmacy is great news for patients and the overall health system.”

Providers selected for a grant must demonstrate that they are able to maximise their dose administration in the weeks commencing 4 and 11 October. They must have the infrastructure and workforce available to deliver this supply, with walk-ups permitted if safe and feasible.

The Expression of Interest form is available at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-enhancement-grants. The EOI must be completed by 12pm 3 October, and successful providers will be notified by Monday 4 October.

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