MEDIA RELEASE 11 March 2021
- Network primed to meet heavy demands of predicted record start to season.
- Metro, regional and remote community pharmacies supported with reliable deliveries.
Members of the National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA) have begun the rollout of the annual flu vaccine to pharmacies across Australia ahead of what is expected to be a record start to the season.
Early consumer bookings and pharmacy orders are already indicating significant increases on last year’s demand and vaccines are being dispatched across Australia from NPSA’s national network of distribution centres.
NPSA Chair Richard Vincent said, “Flu prevention remains a critical part of Australia’s annual health program and we are pleased once again to provide first class service to pharmacy and the Australian public, with reliable ordering, stocking and delivery to every corner of the nation, backed by our experience in medicines handling and end-to-end logistics including cold chain.
“We are meeting Australia’s demand for early and ready access to flu shots, which will subsequently enable the pharmacy workforce to focus its capability on the COVID vaccination program. NPSA’s long-term, sustained investment in health infrastructure and specialist teams means we can provide the certainty needed to support Australia’s 5,700 community pharmacies.”
NPSA represents the Community Service Obligation (CSO) wholesalers: Australian Pharmaceutical Industries, National Pharmacies, Sigma Healthcare and Symbion. Recent combined investment of more than $650M by these companies has seen additional depth added to the network in the form of high-tech distribution centres, systems and experienced personnel.2
“Our critical facilities have high-capacity refrigeration and full generator back-up to ensure that medicines, including vaccines, are safely held and transported while in our care, even in disaster and extreme weather events.
“Last year, at the start of the COVID crisis, the CSO wholesalers provided important support to government and other stakeholders to help manage panic buying and ordering of medicines across the supply chain while seamlessly delivering more than one million flu vaccine doses to pharmacy in the space of the first six weeks of the flu season,” said Mr Vincent.
In addition to supply chain logistics, NPSA members are supporting pharmacy chains with additional education, systems infrastructure and training for all vaccine administration in what is predicted to be a demanding flu season. Australians can be reassured that the CSO wholesaler network is equipped and ready.