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Expert: Pharmacists will be critical in delivering COVID-19 vaccines

Pharmacists will be “critical” in delivering the COVID-19 vaccines to patients when they become available, a global health expert says in a C+D podcast

As the race among manufacturers to find a COVID-19 vaccine ramps up, pharmacists across the UK are wondering whether they will be at the forefront of its delivery when it arrives.

Oksana Pyzik, the lead on an infectious diseases programme at University College London’s School of Pharmacy, said: “Pharmacists will be critical in delivering these vaccines once they become available.”

In the podcast, she discusses the global challenges of developing a COVID-19 vaccine in its future large-scale vaccine manufacture and distribution with C+D clinical editor Naimah Callachand. The podcast offers a new follow-up interview with Ms Pyzik after her appearance on C+D’s webinar on September 24, which explored the range of effects of ‘long COVID’ on patients.

Pharmacists can play a key role in reassuring patients on the rapid development of the vaccine as well as debunking potentially fatal myths about what medicines can treat COVID-19, Ms Pyzik said.

The first doses of the vaccine may be available in some countries in April 2021, Ms Pyzik said. “We’re on the right track, we’ve sort of overcome some of the largest hurdles so far.”

A positive message from the vaccine development is how the speed of the vaccine’s development demonstrates what can happen when “we unite humanity”, she added. More than 172 countries have engaged in potentially participating in COVAX, a global COVID-19 vaccine access plan, according to co-leader of the initiative the World Health Organisation.

You can listen to the podcast below. Alternatively, subscribe to C+D's podcasts on iTunes or by searching “Chemist+Druggist podcast” on your preferred Android podcast app.      

Please note, the sound quality of this podcast may be affected as it has been recorded remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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