COVID-19 Vaccination

Expression of Interest - for community pharmacies to participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination has now closed.


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.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will Guild Members and pharmacy staff receive the vaccination?

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

Which vaccine will we receive?

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.

How can community pharmacies participate in COVID-19 vaccination?

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.

What training is required of community pharmacies to vaccinate?

Pharmacists must have completed an approved pharmacist vaccination course in addition to mandatory covid-19 vaccination training.

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:

  • handling and storage
  • multi-dose vial (MDV) training
  • delivery mechanisms of the vaccine
  • administrative reporting including eligibility checking
  • safety and surveillance monitoring and reporting for adverse events following immunisation
  • communication.

Enrolling in the training

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

CPD

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.

What will the vaccination cost our patients?

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.

How will community pharmacies be remunerated?

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 $
Dose 1 $16.00
Dose 2* $26.00
Total remuneration $42.00
Payment non-metropolitan (MM 2-7) Amount $
Dose 1 $19.00
Dose 2* $29.00
Total remuneration $48.00

*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.

What is the national booking system?

The National Booking System (NBS) is intended to provide a 'front door' where patients can check their eligibility and find out where they can get a COVID-19 vaccination.

More information is available on the Pharmacy Programs Administrator website.

Are pharmacists given a training certificate for CPD purposes?

Pharmacists that complete the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination training will receive a certificate of completion. We recommend that you keep a copy of all staff certificates as part of your usual quality assurance documentation, such as QCPP.

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).

Where can I find out more information about pharmacist vaccination courses?

The Pharmacy Guild offers approved vaccination training in all states and territories in Australia. Additional courses are being run to meet the increased demand for pharmacists wanting to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

Contact your local branch for details and availability.

Can patients receive the COVID-19 vaccine on the same day as other vaccines, such as influenza?

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advise that 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 the COVID-19 vaccine is 14 days.

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.

For more information, visit: ATAGI advice on influenza and COVID-19 vaccines or Statement on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2021

Is there a consent form available for COVID-19 vaccination?

What about the timing of COVID-19 and flu vaccinations?

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.

Which population groups are being vaccinated in each Phase?

Phase 1a - up to 1.4m doses:

  • Quarantine and border workers - 70,000
  • Frontline health care worker sub-groups for prioritisation - 100,000
  • Aged care and disability care staff - 318,000
  • Aged care and disability care residents - 190,000

Phase 1b - up to 14.8m doses:

  • Elderly adults aged 80 years and over - 1,045,000
  • Elderly adults aged 70-79 years - 1,858,000
  • Other health care workers - 953,000
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 55 - 87,000
  • Younger adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability - 2,000,000
  • Critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing - 196,000

Phase 2a - up to 15.8m doses:

  • Adults aged 60-69 years - 2,650,000
  • Adults aged 50-59 years - 3,080,000
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 18-54 years - 387,000
  • Other critical and high risk workers - 453,000

Phase 2b - up to 16m doses:

  • Balance of adult population - 6,643,000
  • Phase 3 - up to 13.6m doses
  • Under 18 years if recommended - 5,670,000

For further information on eligibility, please refer to the Australian Government's Vaccine Eligibility Checker: https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility

What are the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) requirements?

Information regarding the Australian Immunisation Register is provided at: https://www.ppaonline.com.au/nbs-air-faqs

How will those in aged care facilities and with disabilities receive their COVID-19 vaccination?

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.

Who is expected to get the Pfizer vaccine?

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.

Webinar - COVID-19 Vaccination: What do we know so far?

Wednesday 10 March

Current Resources

Posters, social media, videos and more. Updated regularly

See all resources

Page last updated on: 17 March 2021