The week in review

Sue Pocock vaccinates the Guild’s Suzanne Greenwood.
Sue Pocock vaccinates the Guild’s Suzanne Greenwood.

This week saw a watershed moment for community pharmacy and the COVID-19 vaccination… but also continued controversy about the jab

In big news for community pharmacy this week, pharmacist immuniser Sue Pocock administered the first COVID-19 vaccine available through the sector, to the Pharmacy Guild‘s Suzanne Greenwood. The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia welcomed a new milestone in the vaccine rollout.

There was further controversy over the COVID-19 vaccine, with ads authorised by businessman and politician Clive Palmer saying the jabs have been linked to 210 deaths—which were then pulled from the air after the TGA highlighted the claim as misleading. A second death, however, did occur in NSW which is likely to be linked to the AstraZeneca jab, and the TGA and AstraZeneca both expressed their sorrow at this news.

Former AMA president Kerryn Phelps insinuated that pharmacists would not be able to handle anaphylaxis related to the vaccine, a comment refuted by the Guild’s Anthony Tassone. And Guild national president Trent Twomey questioned the risk profile of mass vaccination hubs… prophetically, as it turned out, with the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre hub listed as a Tier 3 exposure site shortly afterwards.

People were on the move, with former Guild president George Tambassis joining API, and former Guild communications director Greg Turnbull joining Chemist Warehouse. In more Chemist Warehouse news, the discount giant was named the winner of Roy Morgan‘s Annual Customer Satisfaction Awards, Chemist/Pharmacist of the Year, for the first time.

In Canberra, Greens Senator Rachel Siewert raised questions about lack of government support for the pharmacy-based opioid dependency treatment program, while the TGA’s John Skerritt was quizzed over whether pharmacies will need tobacco licences when selling e-cigarette products from October.

Pharmacist and PhD candidate Jacquelina Stasinopoulos looked at how type 2 diabetes is managed in residential aged care, and found significant signs of under- or over-treatment. PDL had some advice on “frequent flyers” when it comes to dispensing errors.

And nominations are now open for the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s next Pharmacy of the Year award… with patients now able to nominate their favourite pharmacy.

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