Community pharmacists will be vaccinating patients from Phase 2a of the national vaccine roll-out strategy, giving millions of Australians the option of having their vaccination at their local pharmacy.
Pharmacists and pharmacy assistants will be vaccinated as part of Phase 1b, recognising their essential role as health care workers, and standing them in good stead to advise and assist patients seeking information on the vaccine.
The Guild is continuing to work through a number of issues and questions around the involvement of community pharmacy and we will keep Members informed as we gather more information .
Our FAQs as below will be updated on a daily basis. Some Resources from the Guild and the Australian Government are available for use now.
It is expected that Guild Members and pharmacy staff will receive the COVID-19 vaccination in Phase 1b of the national rollout.
To check your eligibility, please refer to the Australian Government's Vaccine Eligibility Checker: https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility
As part of Phase 1b, Guild Members and pharmacy staff may receive the Pfizer or AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine.
From Phase 2a onwards Guild Members and their pharmacists will be vaccinating adults with the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine.
It is expected community pharmacies will also be able to vaccinate patients younger than 18 years from Phase 3 onwards if the TGA approves a vaccine for use in this age group, and provided the State and Territory legislation allows it.
The Australian Government engaged the Pharmacy Programs Administrator (PPA) to work with them to manage the expression of interest (EOI) process for community pharmacies to provide COVID-19 vaccination in Phase 2a. The EOI process has now closed.
The PPA will then review the responses with the Australian Government and will then notify the successful respondents. The current date for advice on the outcome is 19th March.
The Australian College of Nursing has been appointed by the Australian Government to lead the development of the mandatory training materials for COVID-19 immunisation providers. Healthcare professionals will not be able to administer any COVID-19 vaccines without having first completed the training modules.
Training for immunisation providers includes:
To enrol in the course, immunisation providers will be required to have already undertaken routine immunisation training specific to their profession and hold a current practising registration Immunisation providers will be required to enrol through their Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) number.
Pharmacy Assistants can enrol without an AHPRA number to access non-clinical modules.
All training will be delivered through an e-learning platform at no cost.
Access to the training is here: https://covid19vaccinationtraining.org.au/login/index.php
The training is not CPD accredited against Australian Pharmacy Council Standards. It may be appropriate to include in a pharmacist’s individual learning plan and be self-recorded as a Group 2 CPD activity, on successful completion of the assessment (2 credits per hour of learning).
It is the pharmacist’s responsibility to be aware of the Pharmacy Board Guidelines on continuing professional development and assess potential activities for suitability and relevance, and to determine whether these will address their individual professional development needs.
Pharmacists should refer to the Pharmacy Board Codes, Guidelines and Policies for pharmacists for guidance.
Once available, COVID-19 vaccines will be free for all Australian citizens, permanent residents and most visa-holders as per the Australian Government's COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.
Community pharmacies delivering the COVID-10 vaccine will be eligible for up to $42.00 in metropolitan areas and up to $48.00 in non-metropolitan areas for each person who completes the full (two-dose) vaccination program at the same community pharmacy.
Funding for community pharmacies to administer vaccines will be provided on a fee-for-service basis via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator (PPA). The second vaccination payment** will be higher than the first vaccination payment only where a patient receives both doses of the vaccine (within the TGA approved product information for dose frequency) at the same community pharmacy.
Consistent with the Australian Government's commitment that the vaccine will be free, community pharmacies will not be permitted to charge patient co-payments for vaccine administration.
Where any part of a service is delivered through any other Federal, state or territory, or private program, the service cannot be claimed through this program.
|Payment Metropolitan (MM1)||Amount $|
|Payment non-metropolitan (MM 2-7)||Amount $|
*The second vaccination payment will be higher than the first vaccination payment only where a patient receives both doses of the vaccine (within the TGA approved product information for dose frequency) at the same community pharmacy. Otherwise, payment for a sngle dose administered through a community pharmacy will be in accordance with the Dose 1 rate outlined above.
Advice from the Australian Government and ATAGI (21st January 2021) confirms:
Routine scheduling and giving of an influenza vaccine with a COVID-19 vaccine on the same day is not recommended.
The preferred minimum interval between a dose of seasonal influenza vaccine and a dose of BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1-S is 14 days.
There may be circumstances where co-administration or near administration (within days) of an influenza vaccine with a COVID-19 vaccine may be considered.
There is no particular requirement regarding the order of receiving a dose of influenza vaccine and either the first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
If an influenza vaccine has been inadvertently co-administered or given within a shorter interval than 14 days with a COVID-19 vaccine, revaccination with either vaccine is not considered necessary.
Phase 1a - up to 1.4m doses:
Phase 1b - up to 14.8m doses:
Phase 2a - up to 15.8m doses:
Phase 2b - up to 16m doses:
For further information on eligibility, please refer to the Australian Government's Vaccine Eligibility Checker: https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility
Information regarding the Australian Immunisation Register is provided at: https://www.ppaonline.com.au/nbs-air-faqs
The Australian Government has appointed Aspen Medical, Healthcare Australia, International SOS and Sonic Clinical Services to supplement the existing immunisation workforce for Phase 1a rollout as required. This surge workforce will help provide immunisations for priority groups including residential aged care, residential disability care and workers.
The Pfizer vaccine will be given to those in the identified priority group in Phase 1a. This vaccine will be provided by Commonwealth providers in identified Pfizer hubs to be established.
Community pharmacies and GPs will be providing the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine only.