No time to waste on COVID vax legislation.
State and Territory Governments are being urged to implement the legislation required to enable pharmacists to administer COVID-19 vaccines now, rather than until they are approved.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National President, Dr Chris Freeman, said a vaccine would be the primary way out of the pandemic, and all jurisdictions should prepare to have “all hands on deck” to optimise the number of immunisers available to support the rollout of COVID vaccines.
With the Federal Government confirming it would fund free COVID vaccines for the entire population next year, Freeman said States and Territories needed to move now to ensure they are ready should one or more vaccines prove successful and meet regulatory standards.
“Some State and Territory Governments have already passed legislation that will allow pharmacists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine if and when it becomes available and pharmacists are more than capable and qualified to provide this service,” he said.
“A proactive approach to legislative amendments now means that when the vaccine is available all jurisdictions around Australia will be ready to go, with the entire available health care workforce including pharmacists able to undertake a large-scale vaccination program.
“PSA has written to state and territory governments asking that any required legislative amendments are made now in preparation for when the vaccine becomes available.
“We strongly recommend that the existing community pharmacy wholesale supply chain arrangements are used to facilitate [the] delivery of the vaccine stock into community pharmacies.”
Queensland has already approved legislation allowing pharmacists to administer COVID vaccines – should they be approved – while NSW and Victoria are amending legislation, however, under these regulations patients in both states will need a prescription from their GP before a COVID vaccine can be administered by a pharmacist.
See tomorrow’s edition of Pharmacy Daily for more.