Vaccine training for assistants

The Australasian College of Pharmacy has launched a new free course intended to prepare frontline pharmacy assistants to support the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines

The Safe Vaccination Services in Community Pharmacy Program is an online course that was created in partnership with The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch.

The course offers pharmacy assistants with practical strategies for managing changes to workflows and patient’s expectations to support pharmacists when they can administer COVID-19 vaccines.

The Safe Vaccination Services in Community Pharmacy Program is a direct response to the Australian Federal Government’s announcement that local pharmacies will support the rollout in future by providing eligible patients with a COVID-19 vaccination.

The Australasian College of Pharmacy’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Dimitri Kopanakis, said that the training will help community pharmacies contribute significantly to the national vaccination program with minimal disruption to normal trading, especially during the flu season.

“The College recognises that people will be looking to their local, trusted community pharmacies for reliable advice and services relating to COVID-19 vaccines, just as they have done with the flu vaccine for many years,” said Dr Kopanakis.

“This online course is specifically designed for pharmacy assistants working in retail, so they can confidently manage the extra logistics required, like infection control, queue coordination, appointments and bookings, refrigeration requirements, record-keeping and data management.

“As the primary healthcare provider, the pharmacist immuniser can then focus on providing patients with the COVID-19 vaccine and answering their questions,” Dr Kopanakis said.

ACP is offering the course to pharmacy assistants nationally and expects 20,000 participants to have enrolled by the end of this year.

The free course covers such topics as sharps handling and disposal, managing patient flow and triaging patients with symptoms, keeping vaccines safe, first aid and patient monitoring.

Further course information is available on the College’s new website,

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