Australian pharmacists are delivering following surging demand for COVID-19 vaccinations, with figures released by the Department of Health today show that pharmacists have delivered more than 52,000 COVID-19 vaccinations in the last day and over 7.7 million since the start of the rollout.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) National President Dr Fei Sim says these vaccination numbers highlight the accessibility of community pharmacists, as well as the trust the public has in Australian pharmacists.
“I thank our community pharmacists who have stepped up and been on the front line of the COVID-19 vaccination effort for the last twelve months,” she said.
“These vaccination figures show just how critical community pharmacists are in providing timely, accessible healthcare. Nearly 50 per cent of yesterday’s COVID-19 vaccinations were delivered by a pharmacist, in a community pharmacy.
“This is on top of administering record numbers of influenza vaccinations, increase in oral antivirals and supporting their own staff being furloughed with COVID or influenza.”
“Pharmacists around Australia have stepped up when it mattered most, and now that state and territory governments all but closed their vaccination hubs – it is on primary care, led by pharmacists and GPs to do the heavy lifting.
“It’s clear that Australians trust the expertise of pharmacists, now it’s time that pharmacists are adequately remunerated for the critical role they play.”
Dr Sim also said that growing reliance on community pharmacists indicated a shift in how Australians access primary care, with many heading to their local pharmacy more regularly.
“Pharmacists are seeing more patients coming through the doors with minor ailments, and in particular respiratory symptoms. Our pharmacists are doing a fantastic job at supporting patients, including referral to a GP or hospital where appropriate.
“PSA is committed to ensuring that pharmacists are remunerated fairly for their time and expertise, so that they can provide the best care to our communities.”