Pharmacy COVAX Rollout Gains Pace
Pharmacists from more than 100 community pharmacies across Australia are administering their first COVID-19 vaccines today, with a further 300 stores due to be activated by the end of the week.
Speaking after receiving his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, at the Alive Pharmacy in Innisfail in Far North Queensland, Pharmacy Guild of Australia National President, Trent Twomey, said “all of Australia’s 6,000 pharmacies will be onboard by the end of Aug”.
Twomey’s announcement followed National Cabinet’s move to accelerate the vaccination rollout campaign by inviting all 3,930 stores approved by the Commonwealth Department of Health to request supplies of the vaccines from today.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Pharmacy Programs Administrator (PPA) noted that “the Australian Government COVID-19 Taskforce has also advised that community pharmacies that agree to be activated to administer the AstraZeneca vaccines will be progressively transitioned to administer mRNA vaccines (Moderna and/or Pfizer), as supply of mRNA vaccines ramps up later this year”.
Pharmacies will be asked to complete an online form to:
• Advise whether they are willing and able to commence administering AstraZeneca vaccines.
• Confirm they can and will meet all relevant Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) requirements associated with the administration of AstraZeneca and mRNA vaccines.
• Provide their Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) provider number – noting that completion of the form and activation as a COVID-19 vaccine site will not be possible without an AIR provider number. Pharmacies that do not yet have an AIR provider number will need to apply for one via Services Australia and submit their online form once they have their AIR provider number.
As part of the rollout plans the taskforce has advised that “those assessed as ‘suitable’ as part of the expression of interest process undertaken earlier this year will be prioritised” for access to vaccines, the PPA said.
Source: Pharmacydaily.com.au, Monday 26 July 2021