Thousands of community pharmacies and additional GPs across Australia are to be invited by the Department of Health to join the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said this additional workforce would be brought on board to support the pharmacies and GPs already delivering COVID-19 vaccines in cities, regional, rural and remote areas.
“To date, 118 community pharmacies are currently vaccinating across the country and over 470 community pharmacies will be vaccinating by the end of July,” Mr Hunt said.
“From Monday (26 July), over 3,900 community pharmacies who have expressed interest in joining the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and who have previously been found suitable, will also be invited to participate,” he said.
“This includes 1,262 suitable community pharmacies from regional, rural and remote areas and 2,668 suitable community pharmacies that have also been identified in metropolitan areas.”
Mr Hunt said pharmacies who had not yet expressed interest would also be offered the opportunity to participate, as well as any GPs that were not yet participating in the rollout.
The Minister said the Department of Health’s National COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce had been fast tracking the on-boarding of community pharmacies in the NSW Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool, with 48 pharmacies in those LGAs to commence offering vaccines this week.
“It is anticipated that pharmacies wishing to administer AstraZeneca vaccines will commence vaccinating from mid-August,” he said.
“In addition, community pharmacy will also participate in the rollout of the Moderna vaccine from September,” Mr Hunt said.