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KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 -- The Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS) hopes that the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee can place community pharmacists among the recipients in Phase 1 of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
Its president Amrahi Buang said that the decision to exclude them in the earliest group to receive the vaccine needed to be reconsidered as the community was also exposed to COVID-19 infection from customers and patients visiting community pharmacies.
“Community pharmacists should be given priority for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1 of PICK as the services of community pharmacists are very much needed by the public, including when the country is placed under the Movement Control Order.
“As a result, the MPS is concerned about the government's decision to exclude community pharmacists from the initial recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1 of PICK.
“This is very disappointing because the contribution of community pharmacists in the local community is very important,” he said in a statement here today.
Earlier, he said that the MPS had sent several letters to the government on the issue, especially to Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, but when the list was finalised, the pharmacists were excluded.
He said that the contribution of pharmacists in vaccination programmes in several other countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, European Union countries, and also in New Zealand, Australia and Canada was very significant. Even in the Philippines, community pharmacists were allowed to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in the programme.