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Pharmacists hit out as vaccines slowed by federal government’s red tape

Deborah Knight
Article image for Pharmacists hit out as vaccines slowed by federal government’s red tape

The vaccine rollout has hit another snag with supply issues preventing pharmacies from joining the program.

NSW pharmacies in particular are still waiting to receive doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, despite heightened demand blowing through two weeks of stock in 48 hours.

National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia Trent Twomey says government distribution contracts have caused the bottleneck.

Medications arrive at local pharmacies through the Community Service Obligation network, which guarantees 24-hour deliveries through taxpayer funding, he explained to Deborah Knight.

“The anomaly with current distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is we chose not to use that network.

“We’ve been saying for many months now we need to stop using the supply chain that we’re currently using … and we need to use the same distribution avenues that we use to deliver all of our other essential medicines.”

But while the federal government has been made aware of the issue, they say contractual obligations with existing distributors need to run their course.

“We are hoping when the review comes up, the government moves their distribution mechanisms.”

Press PLAY below to hear the full interview

Image: Getty

Deborah Knight
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