Time to expedite vaccine rollout in Regional NSW

Time to expedite vaccine rollout in Regional NSW Main Image

12 July 2021

Capital Chemist in Braidwood has been selected as one of only 22 pharmacies across regional and rural NSW that can start delivering the AstraZeneca vaccine from today.

Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain praised Braidwood Pharmacy for stepping up but said the state and federal governments need to work with all regional and rural pharmacies to extend this program as soon as possible. 

“In recent weeks, my office has been inundated with calls from people concerned about the vaccine rollout, wondering where they can get vaccinated,” Ms McBain said.

“People want to get vaccinated and help protect themselves and the community. We need to be doing everything we can to speed up the process.

“Australians have been plunged into uncertainty and disruption because of a slow vaccine rollout, we need all hands on deck to get it back on track.”

In January the Government announced that community pharmacists would be taking a role in the vaccination program as early as May. It is now mid-July and only one pharmacy in the entire Eden-Monaro electorate can deliver the vaccine. 

“Community pharmacies across the Eden-Monaro are prepared and ready to deliver the vaccine, the only thing holding them back is supply and the government giving them the go-ahead,” Ms McBain said.

“We know through the flu vaccination program how important the work of community pharmacies can be to make sure people get access to important vaccines.

“Pharmacists, particularly in regional areas, have great relationships in their communities. People are used to having health discussions with their local pharmacist and there’s a high level of trust there.

“Already, pharmacists across the Eden-Monaro are talking to customers every day about the vaccine, dispelling fears and encouraging vaccine uptake. 

“Our GPs remain a core part of our vaccination efforts, and many Eden-Monaro GPs want to deliver more vaccines but haven’t been included as Pfizer hubs.

“We are five months into the vaccine rollout and fewer than 9 per cent of Australians are fully vaccinated.

“We need to fast track the vaccine rollout and GPs and pharmacies will both play a critical role in getting regional and rural areas vaccinated.

“Our pharmacies and GPs want to do more, it’s about time the government enabled them.

“Both my Queanbeyan and Bega offices have remained open and I encourage anyone with questions over the rollout to reach out.”

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