PHARMACIST immunisers will join Australia’s free COVID-19 vaccine (COVAX) rollout as part of the second phase
of the Federal Government’s immunisation plan.
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Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, confirmed pharmacists will play a key role in the administration of vaccines
following discussions with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia yesterday.
Hunt’s support for pharmacist 3 involvement in the rollout plan has been welcomed by the Guild and Pharmaceutical
Society of Australia, however, details as to how pharmacies will be remumerated for the administration of
doses have yet to be clarified.
Under the rollout plan, pharmacists and other health professionals alongside aged care, disability, quarantine and
border security workers will be immunised in phase 1a, in mid-Feb, with GPs joining the innoculation campaign as
part of phase 1b, during which pharmacy assistants will be able to be
Guild National President, George Tambassis, described ensuring the success of the COVAX program as “the
biggest public health challenge Australia has ever faced”.
“Trained community pharmacist immunisers are standing ready to make a significant contribution to the
health workforce charged with administering these vaccines to all Australians who wish to be vaccinated,” he said.
“Through advocacy, training and commitment, pharmacists are now authorised to administer vaccines across
all jurisdictions in Australia.
“Pharmacist immunisers are now providing significant and demonstrable public health dividends – through the millions
vaccinated against influenza at their local pharmacy in 2020, and now as community pharmacists add to the health
workforce preparing to administer these absolutely essential vaccines.
“Pharmacists are trusted health professionals, and local pharmacies are the most accessible health infrastructure
in the country – it just makes sense to utilise these key assets.”
PSA National President, Associate Professor Chris Freeman, said the profession would play a “vital role”in
supporting rapid rollout of the vaccines.
Freeman called on State and Territory Governments to “amend legislation that will allow pharmacists to administer
a COVID-19 vaccine”, noting that some jurisdictions have been “slow to act” on introducting reforms.
“A proactive approach to legislation amendments means that the entire available health care workforce, including
pharmacists, will be able to undertake a large-scale vaccination program,” he said.
“Pharmacists are more than capable, qualified and willing to provide this service to ensure the large scale
rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.” Pharmacy Daily Thursday 14th January