Residents roll up their sleeves at Narrogin’s Guardian Pharmacy

Campbell WilliamsonNarrogin Observer
Robin Hoysted after receiving her vaccination.
Camera IconRobin Hoysted after receiving her vaccination. Credit: Picture: Tom Shanahan

The COVID-19 vaccine has arrived at Narrogin Guardian Pharmacy and after an announcement from the Federal Government last week, many more pharmacies will soon join the fight to vaccinate our State.

Hundreds of pharmacies in WA are set to start giving the AstraZeneca vaccine after the Federal Government opened the gates to pharmacy vaccinations last Thursday.

Pharmacies in towns such as Wagin, Williams, Katanning and Kojonup were given the green light to deliver the vaccine from July 12, but other regional areas were left out in a system described as “absurd” by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia WA.

Only 13 per cent of Australians are fully vaccinated, giving Australia the second lowest vaccination rate among the 38 OECD countries.

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As the COVID crisis worsens in NSW and other States remain in lockdown, calls have reached fever pitch for Australia’s vaccination rollout to pick up speed.

Pharmacy Guild of Australia WA director Matthew Tweedie said that while last week’s pharmacy decision was encouraging, it was also an admission of error from the Federal Government.

“We can see that the Commonwealth has finally admitted that they got this wrong and that they’re going to bring on more and more pharmacies as soon as possible,” he said.

“We have never understood, still can’t understand and never will, why this wasn’t done with everybody right from the start.”

Robin Hoysted and Nikhil Patel.
Camera IconRobin Hoysted and Nikhil Patel. Credit: Pic: Tom Shanahan

Mr Tweedie said they were still waiting for details and clarity on the timeline for the WA pharmacy rollout.

“We haven’t been told which pharmacies are eligible, we’re still waiting on a list,” he said.

“We actually don’t know which pharmacies have been approved by the Federal Government.

“It’s been bungled and poorly managed, were now chasing our tails but I think the clear challenge is to get over those problems and get on with solving the problem.”

Nikhil Patel is the pharmacist proprietor at Narrogin’s Guardian Pharmacy, where the COVID-19 vaccine jabs started last week for over-60s.

Mr Patel stressed the importance of getting vaccinated.

“It’s quite clear from what we’re seeing over east and around the world, what can happen if you don't get vaccinated,” he said.

“I think it’s important to weigh up the risks and benefits and I think the benefits definitely outweigh the risks.

“We’ve only recently started doing it, so we’ve done 20 ... a lot of over 60s have already had their vaccinations which is good.”

One of the patients who rolled up her sleeve and got the jab at the Narrogin pharmacy was healthcare worker Robin Hoysted. Ms Hoysted said she wanted to get vaccinated for work and for her family.

“I have a granddaughter that was born at 26 weeks, she’s got compromised health so I just wanted to make sure,” she said.

“I don’t want to be the one to carry it or give it to her and work.”

She encouraged everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“If it’s going to save your health, go and do it,” she said.

“Look after your health, look after other’s health.

“Don’t think about yourself, think about your family, think of the risk.”

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