Is pharmacy ready for its planned role in Phase 2 of the COVID vaccine rollout? We want to find out what our readers believe
Health Minister Greg Hunt has said Australian community pharmacies will become involved during phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Speaking last week, the Minister said Australia’s vaccination network is “built around our general practices with support from our pharmacies. And so our general practices will commence when the AstraZeneca vaccine commences as part of Stage 1B. The pharmacies from phase 2 are expected to join.”
It is expected the rollout of the vaccine will commence in mid-to-late February, broken down into five key phases.
Mr Hunt’s comments have been welcomed by both the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
Guild national president, George Tambassis, welcomed the Minister’s “support and confidence” in community pharmacy.
“Make no mistake – this is the biggest public health challenge Australia has ever faced, and community pharmacies are an essential component in this enormous logistical exercise.”
PSA national president, Associate Professor Chris Freeman, said “pharmacists have a vital role to play when it comes to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines ensuring there is enough capacity in the system to allow the public to be vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
However the AMA was not so happy, with its president, Dr Omar Khorshid saying “the second phase, whichever vaccine is decided upon, must harness the long recognised expertise of GPs in delivering safe vaccinations in a medically-appropriate environment, not shopping centres or discount outlets”.
We want to see what our readers think about the debate: