Canberra pharmacists are backing high-level calls for the sector to be involved in the national Covid vaccine rollout as a matter of urgency.
The federal government asked pharmacists across the country to express their interest in being part of the rollout back in January, and the ACT Pharmacy Guild of Australia branch said 66 pharmacies in the territory had since been "essentially approved" to be involved.
Branch president Simon Blacker said it made sense for pharmacists to start vaccinating people now.
The guild understood the supply was there, and expected a "bottleneck" in the health system as Canberrans started needing their second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
"That's going to make it really difficult for people to get appointments at [general practices], and the community pharmacies across the territory think this is the ideal time to get pharmacies involved," Mr Blacker said.
"To have not had an update in the last two to three weeks - and we've been asking - is disappointing."
Mr Blacker said the Covid outbreak in Victoria and news of positive Covid cases having travelled to Goulburn and the South Coast highlighted "we don't have time", and that the vaccination rollout needed to be completed as quickly as possible.
His comments came after national guild president Trent Twomey told The Australian it was "beyond belief" pharmacies weren't being used to get vaccines into people's arms, and "bureaucratic red tape" was slowing down the process.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has flagged to pharmacies that they could be able to dole out Pfizer vaccines from about October this year.
Exactly when the bulk of pharmacists will be able to administer AstraZeneca vaccines is expected to be a topic of discussion at an upcoming national cabinet meeting.
It was decided during a national cabinet meeting in April that states and territories could allow their pharmacists to administer Covid vaccines - but only in rural or remote areas where there were "no or limited other points of presence".
Mr Blacker argued that while Canberra was a city, some of its pharmacies serviced rural communities.
"I think to just say, 'no, because we're a city, pharmacy shouldn't be involved', is the wrong decision," he said.
The ACT's Chief Health Officer signed a direction on May 21 to legally authorise the territory's pharmacists to administer Covid vaccines, when the time came for them to do so.
An ACT government spokeswoman said it was up to the Commonwealth to decide when pharmacies could be involved in the Covid vaccination rollout program.
She said the territory government was "supportive of pharmacies playing a role in the vaccine rollout when plans and supply are finalised by the Commonwealth".
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