Government drops vaccination ball again by failing to approve Auckland pharmacies

New Zealand’s low vaccination rate can also be credited to late and lazy engagement with primary care providers such as pharmacies, says National’s Health spokesman Dr Shane Reti.

“From when the Covid vaccine was first approved for routine vaccine fridges on May 28 this year, the pharmacy credentialing rate in Auckland means that it will take around three-and-a-half years for all Auckland pharmacies to be credentialed to administer the vaccine.

“Excuses around the cold chain no longer stand up, given Medsafe approved normal pharmacy vaccination fridges months ago.

“Even worse, the percentage of credentialed vaccinating pharmacies in Auckland is less than half of the rest of New Zealand, yet Auckland is the epicentre of the current Delta outbreak.

“This is completely consistent with an incompetent Labour Government that in 2019 could not credential pharmacies in time to cope with a measles outbreak, meaning only a paltrey 28 doses of vaccine were administered.

“It’s clear this Government just doesn’t get vaccines.

“All pharmacies that are currently trusted to give the flu vaccine to workers and the whooping cough vaccine to pregnant mothers should be immediately trusted to administer the Covid vaccine.”

Table below: Number of community pharmacies onboarded by Auckland DHBs:

DHBs

Number of Pharmacies

(Medicines Control at 30/8/2021)

Number of Pharmacy Covid-19 Vaccinating Sites (at 3/9/2021)

“Book My Vaccine”/ ”Health Point”

% of Pharmacies as Covid-19 Vaccinating Sites

 

Waitemata

 

136

 

8

 

5.9%

Auckland

145

14

9.7%

Counties Manukau

122

7

5.7%

Metro-Auckland

403

29

7.2%

 

 

 

 

New Zealand

1,119

194

17.3%