Date: 8 September 2021
The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has praised community pharmacists for their role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and pointed to a growing COVID role for the sector.
Speaking to some 2,000 registrants on a Pharmacy Guild webinar, Mr Morrison encouraged the expansion of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout through pharmacies across the nation, saying that with the strong contribution through community pharmacies, Australia was hastening towards the targets of 70 per cent and 80 per cent full vaccination.
Mr Morrison revealed Australia had reached a point where per capita vaccinations were consistently exceeding the best weeks recorded across the United States and United Kingdom.
He expected the acceleration of Australia’s rollout would mean all Australians wanting vaccination will have their first dose before Christmas.
“Pharmacies have become an integral part of our vaccination rollout,” the Prime Minister said.
“You are trusted in your relationships you have with those you look after in our community and that’s how we will open up the country.”
Mr Morrison said the Government’s plan would enable the country to open up safely, based on medical advice, based on the science, and based on economic advice.
He also acknowledged the impact the lockdowns were having on small businesses such as community pharmacies.
“We know if we get to 70 or 80 per cent [of people vaccinated] that if you impose those lockdowns that people are struggling under now, you will do more harm than good,” he said.
“You know that as healthcare providers, but you also know that as businesspeople, small businesspeople in our community.
“You understand what the real impact beyond the health effects of these lockdowns are.”
Mr Morrison reiterated that: “Our goal is to live with this virus. We cannot eradicate it.
“Living with the virus means pharmacists are going to be involved in more ways than just giving booster shots.
“There are a lot more other things than will undoubtedly come onto the market, and people will need to know how to use those.”
Mr Morrison concluded by saying he had come onto the webinar to say thank you to community pharmacists and their staff.
“I have seen Australians do amazing things over the last 18 months as we’ve battled through this and our healthcare professionals have been in the front of that. So, my heartfelt thanks to all of you. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.”
A recording of the webinar can be accessed here
Contact: The Guild