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

Oksana Pyzik says pharmacists can debunk dangerous myths about COVID-19
Oksana Pyzik says pharmacists can debunk dangerous myths about COVID-19

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.

Would your pharmacy be able to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine?

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

I wonder what the Boots/Well/Rowlands/Lloyds targets will be for Covid vaccines given? I'll just be an interested onlooker by then anyway, but I feel for everyone who is going to have to put up with the added stress of this extra work for no extra pay.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

“Comprehensive training”

This says it all. Pharmacy vaccination will not pick up until GPs & others finish their full quota.

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

Will they be paid though ?!

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

Yes tho I suppose on current evidence it will only be after the GPs and uncle Tom Cobbley have had their stock and finished vaccinating before we get any.

Matthew Edwards, Community pharmacist

What current evidence? Or are you posting negative comments with no justification

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Read the headlines matey - GPs can dip into DoH flu vaccine stock at will while we still have our faces pressed to the window. Do you really think it'll be any different with Covid given how much more powerful the GP representative body is compared to our feeble, in-thrall-to-the-multiples GPhC and RPS?

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