(REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

The Pharmacists Defence Association (PDA) has said that concerned authorities and other stakeholders should ensure the safety and make workload considerations of pharmacy teams while launching their plans for Covid-19 vaccination drive at community pharmacy premises.

Responding to calls for a complete utilisation of the sector during Covid-19 vaccination drive, the PDA has emphasized that this can only be achieved by not overwhelming already hard-working professionals.

“The experience of delivering millions of flu vaccinations positions the sector well for a role in the Covid vaccination roll-out, however, the two activities are not identical,” PDA said.

“A responsible pharmacist already has a full job in operating a pharmacy and providing patient care and advice, therefore if another set of responsibilities to manage and administer Covid vaccinations is added to the pharmacy, this needs to be done by engaging an additional pharmacist,” it pointed out.

The sector has sufficient number of locums and a flexible employed workforce, therefore adequate additional government funding can allow the pharmacies to launch Covid-19 vaccination drive across the country.

Throughout the pandemic, there have been calls for the whole sector to work collaboratively and the PDA emphasized the need for employers to ensure they prioritise the public good.

Employers need to ensure existing employed or locum pharmacists are only asked to work within the boundaries of what can be achieved safely, it said.

“The PDA believe that, if employers are willing to be flexible and maintain safety as a priority, any remaining barriers to utilising community pharmacy to its full potential as an important part of the vaccination programme can be resolved by government making the right decisions on supplies and funding,” the association said.

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