Second million in only 27 days as hospital pharmacy powers state vaccine clinics
The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has welcomed new milestone figures as Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out continues to gather pace, with hospital pharmacists and technicians playing central roles in large-scale state and territory government run clinics.
Today’s national figures will confirm 2m doses have been administered in over 500 state and territory clinics, a growing proportion of the 5m total figure reached last weekend, with the current Melbourne lockdown trebling demand in Victoria.
SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says the ramping up of mass vaccination clinics is a crucial pillar in the national strategy to curb the pandemic this year.
‘We welcome yesterday’s announcement of a second mass vaccination centre in New South Wales, to service the Hunter region and employ 25 hospital pharmacists.
‘While the first million doses administered in state and territory clinics took 90 days from late February to mid-May, the second million has taken just 27 days, a trend that will continue as more large facilities come online and demand from the community remains high.
‘This demand will be further stoked as second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are scheduled, and the proportion of Australians fully vaccinated begins to climb quickly.’
Ms Michaels says to maintain momentum vaccine roll-out strategies must continue to be flexible and responsive.
‘We welcome approaches by several jurisdictions including New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory to allow Australians aged 40-49 years to receive the Pfizer vaccine, which is administered from state and territory clinics and is also available to South Australians aged 16-49 years residing in non-metropolitan areas, as well as newly announced vaccine eligibility for all Northern Territorians over the age of 16.
‘At the same time, we welcome the announcement 49 community pharmacies in regional Queensland are now administering the AstraZeneca vaccine, covering areas with no local GP provision.
‘SHPA continues to support our members as they work with their hospital colleagues expanding state government vaccine hubs in strategic and high-impact locations, and we look forward to seeing vaccination rates increase steadily through the winter before the rollout extends broadly into community pharmacies in September.’