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Louiza Coetzee (r) from Grafton Superclinic Pharmacy, pictured alongside dispensary technician Jenny King, is supportive of pharmacists administering Covid-19 vaccinations. Image: Contributed.

Shot of support for pharmacists administering vaccines

Emma Pritchard|

As the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) acknowledged the country’s pharmacists, who have administered more than 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca according to data from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), PSA National President Associate Professor Chris Freeman expressed his admiration of the pharmacy professions contribution to the vaccine rollout, describing it as very pleasing.

“Considering only a fraction of Australia’s pharmacists have commenced vaccinating in recent weeks, these numbers are quite staggering,” he revealed.

“This data underpins the trust that Australians place in their local pharmacists to protect them against this deadly disease.

“I acknowledge the pharmacists who have been vaccinating through GP clinics, respiratory clinics, and vaccination hubs since day one of the vaccine rollout.

“They have paved the way for community pharmacist involvement in the strategy.”

In the Clarence Valley, several pharmacies have signed up to administer Covid-19 vaccines.

“Vaccination by pharmacists is the patient-centric approach that Australians need and deserve, and this is the tip of the iceberg for the impact they can have on the vaccine rollout,” Associate Professor Freeman said.

Local pharmacist Louiza Coetzee from Grafton Superclinic Pharmacy is fully supportive of pharmacists administering Covid-19 vaccines, and said Australians are fortunate to have access to them.
Ms Coetzee said pharmacy staff receive special training prior to administering Covid-19 vaccines, and she is encouraging the Clarence Valley community to roll up their sleeves, book an appointment, and get vaccinated.

“Pharmacies are helping to ensure more people in the community have access to vaccines,” she said.

As the PSA anticipates the arrival of the Moderna vaccine next month, they remain dedicated to supporting pharmacists in delivering all Covid-19 vaccines safely and effectively to the public.
While AstraZeneca remains the primary vaccine available to Clarence Valley residents, Ms Coetzee said any vaccine is better than no vaccine, and she is encouraging people to speak to their pharmacist, local GP, or a trusted healthcare professional if they have any questions regarding vaccinations, to ensure they receive the appropriate information.

While the Grafton Superclinic Pharmacy does not administer Covid- 19 vaccines, the adjacent Ochre Medical Centre does, and Ms Coetzee confirmed there has been an increase in the number of inquiries, especially from younger adults, in relation to vaccination.

“It’s really pleasing to see a lot of younger adults wanting to be vaccinated, and the doctors, nurses and admin at the medical centre do an incredible job,” she said.

“The pressure they are working under is incredible, and they are doing it all for their community.”