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Friday, June 21, 2024

22 NSW pharmacies to give vaccine jabs

Twenty-two pharmacies across rural and regional NSW have been given government approval to begin administering the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine from mid-July, the NSW Premier announced today.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said regional and rural communities that didn’t have access to any other GP or NSW Government health site would be first to take part in the pilot scheme.

“We are starting the pilot with 22 pharmacies – we are keen for them to do more as well, but from 19 July, 22 will be coming online and we will be having ongoing conversations with the Pharmacy Guild,” said Ms Berejiklian.

The first towns to roll out the pharmacy-based vaccination program will include Gulgong, Narromine, Walcha, Dungog, Dunedoo and Merriwa.

The Premier said community pharmacists already had an important role in Australia’s vaccination program, administering vaccines including the yearly flu jab.

“We know that some of these communities have limited local access to general practitioner services and having these pharmacies involved will assist with the phased rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine to these communities,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This is a vital step to help ensure as many people in NSW as possible receive their COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.” 

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said there was currently significant demand for vaccination bookings across NSW and the new pathway would make it easier for people right across the state to get their jab. 

“I want to reassure the community that everyone in NSW who wants to be vaccinated, will be vaccinated as soon as possible when it’s their turn,” Mr Hazzard said. 

Community pharmacies will need to meet certain standards in order to administer COVID-19 vaccines. These include:

  • Must not supply or administer the vaccine to a person who is under the age of 60, or a patient with a contraindication or precaution to vaccination;
  • Written consent from a patient;
  • Mandatory training for vaccinators;
  • Recording of each vaccination; and
  • Conduct vaccinations under approved practice standards.

Minister Hazzard, also announced that the government would establish two mass vaccination centres in south-west Sydney and the Illawarra to ramp up the state’s vaccine rates.

One hub will be located in a former Coles supermarket site in Macquarie Fields, while the other will take over a former David Jones building in Wollongong.

Mr Hazzard said the new vaccination hubs will be expected to deliver thousands of additional vaccine jabs each week.

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