Queensland Community Pharmacies leads the way for vaccination rollout
49 community pharmacies across Queensland had begun the rollout and started offering the COVID-19 vaccine to members of the community. The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s Chris Owen, Queensland Branch’s Acting President, has welcomed this announcement from the Federal Government.
Owen was joined by National Executive Director, Suzanne Greenwood, who received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Footes Pharmacy Boonah, a community pharmacy in Boonah, Queensland. Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, the Hon Mark Coulton MP and Hon Scott Buchholz MP, Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport were also present at the event.
Owen said that Queensland was once again leading the way nationally, being the first pharmacies in Australia to be able to offer the vaccine to community members.
“We’re very proud to once again be leading the way in Queensland,” said Owen. “The Federal and State Government have shown great leadership in ensuring Queensland Pharmacies would be able to make sure communities across Queensland would have access to the COVID-19 vaccines.”
“I know as Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, Minister Coulton, understands many Queenslanders don’t have easy access to other primary healthcare services or local GP clinics.”
“Community pharmacies are highly accessible with 97% of consumers in capital cities and 65% 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,” said Owen.
“Given the need to vaccinate as many Queenslanders as quickly as possible and the decentralised nature of our state, we thank the Federal Government for leading the way and ensuring that as frontline primary healthcare professionals, community pharmacies are part of the solution.
“While we are very grateful for the Federal Government’s leadership in this area, I would also like to pay particular tribute to Queensland’s Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Ath. Minister D’Ath’s forward-thinking, and leadership have ensured Queensland is in the great position it is,” Owen said.
“Community pharmacies have a proud history of being at the forefront of supporting patients through the best primary healthcare practices,” said Owen, “We were the first state to provide critical vaccination programs and advance women’s healthcare through the Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot – Queensland (UTIPP-Q) through community pharmacies.”
“The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine is the most critical health initiative in our generation, and community pharmacies are well placed to deliver.”
“Anyone administering a COVID-19 vaccine in community pharmacies will undergo training with the Australian College of Nurses on this specific vaccine.”
“We look forward to working closely with both Federal and State Governments to quickly increase the number of community pharmacies involved in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to improve patient accessibility,” said Owen.