“Delta will come to your community. “
Pharmacy leader praised industry on AstraZeneca milestone – but another warns it should only be seen as a start
“We have a very long way to go,” warns Pharmacy Guild National President Trent Twomey, urging pharmacists who get vaccinated against COVID-19 to target every patient, and pharmacies not part of the deployment to join him.
According to data from the Australian Immunization Registry, pharmacists have now administered more than 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Mr Twomey said he and the Guild were celebrating that community pharmacies are now part of the vaccination effort – “but to be honest, I’m not going to stand on the deck of an aircraft carrier saying: “Mission accomplished” the back of 100,000 vaccinations “.
“I need all Australian pharmacies to make sure they ask every patient over 18 if they have received their COVID-19 vaccine, or if they would like one, every patient, every time , at each visit, “he said. the AJP.
“I implore these community pharmacies – and there are 2,500 who have not taken the opportunity to provide this very important service to their community – to please jump on the PPA portal and sign up and become providers. . “
He said community pharmacists have a responsibility not only as primary health care providers, but as members of the community, to have such conversations.
“We need them not to have 100,000 conversations, but we need them to have a million conversations, to make sure that we get the country out of lockdown and that it works as it should,” a said Mr. Twomey.
He stressed that pharmacies serving vulnerable populations must take this vulnerability into account when urging people to get vaccinated.
“I am a frontline community pharmacist in far north Queensland, and nowhere are populations more vulnerable than this, with Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal communities, migrants and aging regional towns. – I live and breathe this every day, “he said.
“Having been in a city that got scared and went into an instant three day lockdown, I would say to the rest of Australia looking outward towards Sydney, don’t think this can’t happen to you.
“It will be. It’s a matter of time. Vaccinate now and help protect your people, because Delta will come to your community.”
The PSA congratulated the pharmacists for having crossed the 100,000 AstraZeneca mark.
“Considering that only a fraction of Australian pharmacists have started vaccinating in recent weeks, these numbers are quite staggering,” said National President A / Prof Chris Freeman.
“Imagine the vaccination rates once all licensed pharmacists are integrated.
“This data reinforces the trust Australians place in their local pharmacists to protect them against this deadly disease.
“I thank the pharmacists who have vaccinated in GP clinics, respiratory clinics and vaccination centers since day one of the vaccine rollout – they paved the way for community pharmacists to participate in the strategy. I applaud the pharmacies that have remained open after hours and on weekends as they strive to protect their communities.
“Pharmacist vaccination is the patient-centered approach Australians need and deserve – and it’s the tip of the iceberg for the impact they can have on vaccine deployment.” , said A / Prof Freeman.
Mainstream media reported significant demand for the vaccine in areas where community pharmacies were able to participate, such as Veronica Nou, who reportedly vaccinated 10% of Oxley Park residents in a week.
Ms Nou told Fairfax media that she wondered if her “little” drugstore would attract public interest, but said the phone “rang suddenly”.
“The response has been crazy, people are canceling second dates elsewhere to come here. We discussed flat, we do one every 10 minutes, ”she said.
Meanwhile, Tasmania, the last state to allow pharmacists on board, has started vaccinating over 60s with AstraZeneca – although community pharmacists here are yet to be able to vaccinate young residents.
the Examiner reports that it is hoped that 46 pharmacies in the island state will take vaccination reservations by the end of the week.