Pharmacies ready to give the jab

Lance Clarke Amcal in Woy Woy will be providing COVID-19 vaccine

Three pharmacies on the Peninsula have indicated that they will be taking part in dispensing COVID-19 vaccines in the coming months.

Lance Clarke, owner of Amcal Woy Woy, said he expressed interest in dispensing the COVID-19 vaccine through his Peninsula Plaza pharmacy in Woy Woy about three months ago.

“I have done all my courses and we do flue vax as well,” Clarke said.

“I had to fill out a survey today to make sure I can still do it and we have been given a delivery date of July 26,” he said.

“It is really tightly government controlled.

“They are going to allocate an amount to me and it will be the AstraZeneca variety and maybe later in the year it will be the Moderna one.

“I have initiated all the things I have to do with Amcal to get all the bookings in place with my website.

“I have been right on this all the time and we will definitely be doing it.”

Clarke said he believed pharmacies, particularly those who are long-standing in the community and already dispensing flu vaccines “should have been doing it for a long time but the problem is they haven’t had enough stock.

“They’ve recently let a few regional pharmacies in but we will be getting it done from mid-August and then we will really start to see the majority if people vaccinated,” he said.

He said the pharmacy was receiving constant inquiries from customers who wanted their vaccination through their pharmacist.

Priceline Pharmacy Woy Woy also reported that they were working on getting ready to deliver the vaccine but pharmacist Ross Pearse did not respond to specific questions about timing or brand of vaccine.

Blooms The Chemist at Umina will also be participating in the program from July 27.

Community pharmacies were originally planned to begin vaccinating against the virus in May as part of Phase 2a of the Government’s vaccination schedule, before being deferred.

“Blooms The Chemist is pleased to be supporting the fast-tracking of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout,” said Blooms The Chemist’s Head of Retail, Emmanuel Vavoulas.

“Our pharmacists have been receiving questions from customers on a regular basis, asking when they can be vaccinated and advice on the vaccination itself,” Vavoulas said.

Expressions of interest from Blooms The Chemist community pharmacies to participate in the delivery of the vaccine to priority populations from Phase 2a of the national rollout strategy were completed earlier this year.

The process was subject to criteria set by the Pharmacy Programs Administrator on behalf of the Department of Health.

The Pharmaceutical Association of Australia’s national president A/Prof Chris Freeman, said pharmacists were the most obvious solution to getting Australians vaccinated as quickly and conveniently as possible.

Freeman said he was dismayed that pharmacist involvement in the rollout is still incredibly limited.

“Pharmacists are the most obvious solution to increasing accessibility to vaccinations.

“We already have a skilled, trusted, experienced, and easily accessible vaccinator workforce at governments’ disposal.

And we already have established vaccination clinics in our shopping centres – the community pharmacy.”

Jackie Pearson