Canadian Manufacturing

Pharmacists anticipate significant demand for COVID-19 vaccines

Many questions remain about how these vaccines will get into the arms of the majority of Canadians across the country

December 3, 2020  by CM Staff

PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

OTTAWA — With first ministers set to meet next week to discuss health care funding and COVID-19 efforts, including vaccine distribution and logistics, the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is calling for a more coordinated strategy to ensure that health professionals are ready to administer vaccines when they arrive in Canada.

“Pharmacists are ready and willing to help vaccinate Canadians against COVID-19, and similar to flu campaigns, we know that pharmacies remain the preferred location for Canadians to get vaccinated,” said Christina Tulk, Chair, CPhA, in a prepared statement. “What we need now, is some direction from governments on how and when vaccines will be distributed so that pharmacies can start planning.”

Despite an unprecedented vaccine distribution effort on the horizon, most of the focus to-date has been on which vaccines will be approved and how to prioritize those who will be immunized first. However, many questions remain about how these vaccines will get into the arms of the majority of Canadians across the country.

According to a recent national survey conducted by Abacus Data:

  • 1 in 3 Canadian want to get the vaccine as soon as possible, while 48% say they will wait a bit before getting it
  • Canadians chose pharmacy (43%) as the top location to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, over a physician’s office (42%) or a public health clinic (14%)
  • Nearly two-thirds of Canadians say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine at a pharmacy, and 27% would consider being vaccinated at a pharmacy
  • 81% of Canadians highly trust their pharmacists and regard the pharmacy as a safe place to get a vaccine
  • A mass vaccination program targeting close to the entire population will require multiple points of administration. The majority of Canadians live within 5km of a pharmacy and many pharmacies are located in rural and remote communities, which will be critical to making vaccines accessible and for the administration of multiple doses.

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