THE NSW premier has said pharmacies would begin offering AstraZeneca vaccines to anyone aged over 18 from this week.
But that only applies to pharmacies in Sydney hotspots - at least for now.
Chelsea Felkai, the NSW branch president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, said while pharmacies in COVID hotspots in Sydney had been "brought on board", the majority of pharmacies in other areas were not yet offering the vaccine. But even if they were, they would be unable to vaccinate people aged 18 and over. A clause in the legislation that allows pharmacies to vaccinate for COVID-19 meant they could only administer AstraZeneca to people 18 and above if they were in a "hotspot".
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There are 22 rural pharmacies involved in pilot vaccine program in areas where there is less access to health services. But unless those areas became hotspots, they would still only be able to vaccinate people 40 and above at this point.
Ms Felkai suspects Newcastle pharmacies would begin to be brought on board by about mid-to-late August.
"But unless we are in a hotspot area at that point, we will only be vaccinating people 40 and over."
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