Queensland’s Assistant Minister for Health and Regional Health Infrastructure Julieanne Gilbert received her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination at the Discount Drug Store in Sarina.
She joined the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch’s Acting President, Chris Owen in Sarina, to promote the regional rollout of Covid-19 vaccines through community pharmacies.
“I’m excited to be here in Sarina with Assistant Minister Julieanne Gilbert as we celebrate the fact that Queensland is once again leading the way nationally, being the first pharmacies in Australia to be able to offer the vaccine to community members,” says Mr Owen.
“Yesterday was a very important day for Queensland as our state became the first in Australia to extend the Covid-19 vaccination program to community pharmacies,” he says.
The Member for Mackay says that she was happy to roll up her sleeve to receive the vaccine.
“I want to encourage everyone to take up the opportunity to get the Covid-19 vaccination when it’s offered to them,” says Ms Gilbert.
“As a regional Queenslander myself, I am really pleased that the Palaszczuk Queensland Government was the first State Government to utilise the network of community pharmacies to ensure equitable access to the vaccine in the regions.
“I want to thank all of the people who have already taken up the opportunity to get their vaccine.
“I also want to thank all of the hardworking health staff, including our regional community pharmacists who are working tirelessly to keep regional communities safe.”
Mr Owen says because most communities in Queensland have access to a pharmacy, they form a vital network in the fight against Covid-19.
“Community pharmacies are highly accessible with 97 per cent of consumers in capital cities and 65 per cent in regional areas living within 2.5km of a pharmacy. Pharmacies are also the most frequently visited primary healthcare destinations, and staff are well placed for significant interactions with members of the public,” says Mr Owen.
“Community pharmacies have a proud history of being at the forefront of supporting patients through the best primary healthcare practices,” says Mr Owen, “We were the first state to provide critical vaccination programs.