The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia says it welcomes the fastest million COVID-19 vaccine doses in state and territory run clinics to date
It also says it welcomes the further activation of community pharmacists in the rollout, while backing higher vaccine rates as the path out of rolling restrictions.
Staffed by hospital pharmacists and technicians and their clinical and nursing peers, state and territory run vaccine clinics administered the latest one million doses in only 15 days, the SHPA says.
The five million dose milestone was passed following the recent establishment of two additional mass vaccination hubs: at the ACT’s Canberra Airport precinct, and at Belmont, near Newcastle, in NSW.
This figure contributes to the over 11.5 million doses administered nationally, SHPA points out.
Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says SHPA supports the ongoing broadening of Australia’s vaccine rollout, as NSW continues to suppress a six-week Delta variant outbreak and South Australia and Victoria emerge from their respective lockdowns.
“There are now more than 830 state and territory run vaccination clinics across the country with hospital pharmacists at the heart of operations, including large-scale clinics in our major centres, with the current total of 251 community pharmacies reaching rural and remote areas to grow by another hundred before the end of the week,” she says.
“We welcome the National Cabinet’s decision to accelerate Australia’s rollout effort further by engaging the almost 4,000 community pharmacies across the country approved by the Federal Department of Health to administer COVID-19 vaccines a couple of months ago, to begin requesting vaccine stock, and progressively transitioning activated pharmacies to administer the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, as supplies of these mRNA candidates increase from next month.”
Ms Michaels says SHPA echoes calls for rapid, mass vaccination as Australia’s pathway out of the pandemic.
“On behalf of our members, who are progressive advocates for evidence-based care, SHPA affirms that high rates of vaccination are crucial to a safe and sustained return to life that resembles pre-pandemic normalcy,” she says.
“Continuing to harness the unique expertise of hospital pharmacists and their peers is essential to ensure vaccines are accessible to as many Australians as possible at every stage.
“We’re proud of the crucial contributions of our members since Phase 1a of the national rollout in February, ensuring the agility of Australia’s COVID-19 response amid changing advice so that safety and efficacy have remained central to the vaccination effort.”