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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Pharmacy interns to boost vaccination effort

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Premier Steven Marshall said he encourages newly registered pharmacists and pharmacy interns to take up the offer of subsided training to support the industry in its COVID-19 vaccination effort.

“We recognise the important role pharmacists continue to play in South Australia’s vaccination program, and newly registered pharmacists and pharmacy interns are well placed to be quickly upskilled to boost the pharmacy vaccination workforce,” Premier Marshall said.

“SA Health continues to work closely with pharmacy networks on strategies to improve vaccination rates across South Australia, with a focus on increasing access for people in areas with lower vaccine uptake, including rural and remote areas.

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“We are leaving no stone unturned in our effort to boost the vaccination workforce and bring on additional capacity wherever possible to get South Australians vaccinated and boosted.

“By the end of March, we know that approximately 1.2 million South Australians will be eligible for their booster dose and we’re gearing up to ensure we can deliver boosters as quickly as possible.”

“I thank the over 50% of eligible South Australians who have already rolled up their sleeve for a booster shot, and encourage those who haven’t to book in, or walk into a clinic today,” Premier Marshall said.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said pharmacies have played a vital role in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and engaging new pharmacists and interns will provide a further boost.

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“I thank every community pharmacy staff member who has played their part in getting the vaccine into the arms of South Australians,” said Minister Wade.

“By fast-tracking training for up to 200 newly registered pharmacists and pharmacy interns, we are ensuring that pharmacies can continue to enhance their vaccination offering and provide even more South Australians with greater access to the lifesaving vaccine.

“The Marshall Government recently announced that the state government is determined to grow its partnership with community pharmacies beyond the pandemic. From this year, community pharmacies will be involved in the National Immunisation Program roll-out in South Australia”.

Chief Pharmacist Naomi Burgess said strong collaboration between pharmacy professional bodies, SA Health and the Primary Health Networks has enabled the newly registered pharmacists and pharmacy interns to immediately access the training enabling them to be ready to support pharmacy vaccination within weeks.

“Once we identified this group as potential vaccinators, we worked together to provide the necessary promotion to this cohort, and subsequent training to allow them to quickly join the vaccination workforce,” Ms Burgess said.

“There are around 100 pharmacy interns this year and around 100 newly registered pharmacists who will be prioritised for the training.

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“There is also flexibility to offer the training to other pharmacists, such as those working in areas with low vaccine service coverage and also those who have recently re-joined the workforce to support the pandemic response.”

The Primary Health Networks are supporting the initiative through subsiding the training fee for up to 200 successful participants. The training is being delivered by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild, with the first course to be completed on 23 January 2022.

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