Pharmacists step up to the Covid-19 vaccine challenge

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) announced that 1,000 pharmacists have already registered to assist in the vaccine rollout and more than 700 attended a PSA webinar session in preparation for their involvement in phase 1 and 2.

The webinar provided information on the Commonwealth program, the role of pharmacists in phase 1, the final call for phase 2 Expressions of Interest to administer the vaccine through community pharmacy, and training and education to deliver the vaccine.

According to the PSA, the session which included senior government officials leading the Covid-19 vaccination plan and PSA President, Associate Professor Chris Freeman, had strong engagement from members seeking to learn more about the Commonwealth’s rollout plans including information about training and state-by-state implementation, the pharmacists’ role, how to register for the program, and common questions around requirements to administer Covid-19 vaccines.

Associate Professor Freeman says the response from pharmacists to the webinar session shows the high levels of interest and support for the Covid vaccine rollout.

“It is fantastic to see the level of support from our members – pharmacists will be providing that support when vaccinations begin in March, and to deliver the AstraZeneca vaccine when the community pharmacy rollout commences in May,” he says.

“Pharmacists are well placed to assist in this program and the attendance at [the] PSA’s webinar clearly demonstrates the commitment of our members and desire to ensure we understand the protocols and get the right training to deliver these vaccines safely.”

The PSA webinar was hosted by Associate Professor Freeman and included the Health Department’s First Assistant Secretary Lisa Schofield, responsible for the whole-of-government taskforce on Covid-19 vaccine, and First Assistant Secretary Adriana Platona, responsible for the Community Pharmacy EOI call.

Clinical, logistical and separate state requirements were discussed and the pharmacists put forward more than 100 questions to the Health officials and PSA. All responses to the questions will be included in a Covid FAQ section on the PSA microsite – psa.org.au/coronavirus/#COVID-19-vaccines.

Associate Professor Freeman noted that the South Australian Government joined with Queensland in approving pharmacists to administer the Covid-19 vaccine.

“This is all a part of the move to bring pharmacists into the rollout program – PSA and its members stand ready, willing and as last night’s webinar showed, increasingly able to be a major part of this massive vaccination program to protect Australians,” he added.

The webinar is available to view on the PSA website – my.psa.org.au/s/training-plan/a110o00000AiOWE/webinar-recording-are-you-ready-for-the-covid19-vaccine-roll-out – for members to access.

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