Hospital pharmacy drives COVID-19 vaccine mass clinic growth as Moderna vaccine pre-approved

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has welcomed the fastest million COVID-19 vaccine doses in state and territory clinics to date – administered in just a fortnight – with today’s figures confirming six million doses have now been administered by these clinics, contributing to the total of more than 14 million doses nationwide.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says that as Australia’s vaccination effort accelerates – with Queensland opening its largest mass vaccination clinic today at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, and Victoria opening Australia’s first drive-through vaccination clinic in Melbourne’s west – hospital pharmacists will continue to play pivotal roles in the country’s largest ever public health program.

‘The hospital pharmacy sector’s reputation for rapid innovation continues to benefit the COVID-19 vaccination effort in state and territory vaccination clinics. SHPA members have been supporting one another across state and territory lines to determine optimal staffing arrangements and service elements in leading the setup and operation of these hubs.

‘Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine program is now consistently exceeding well over 200,000 administered doses each weekday, with state and territory clinics contributing to more than a third of this total.’

Ms Michaels says the increasing vaccination rates come as the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) grants provisional approval for a third COVID-19 vaccine.

‘Since Phase 1a of the national rollout in February, hospital pharmacists have demonstrated their expertise as stewards for Australia’s multiple vaccine candidates, showcasing their excellence in medicines management while remaining responsive and flexible to changing vaccine advice.

‘We welcome the announcement of the TGA’s provisional approval of the Moderna vaccine, with the first of 25 million doses due to arrive for rollout in September.

‘SHPA also welcomes the increasing number of community pharmacies joining the COVID-19 vaccine program; nearly 700 community pharmacies are currently participating across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, with thousands more expected to be activated in the near future.

‘We’re incredibly proud of the crucial contributions made by hospital pharmacists and technicians in supporting the rapid expansion of Australia’s rollout, with even faster vaccination rates an imminent reality as we head into Spring.’

Image courtesy of ABC News.

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