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Home » Advocacy » Pharmacists on the Frontlines Leading the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout
Sandra Hanna

Sandra Hanna

CEO, Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada

Having already administered a record 5.6 million flu shots to Canadians last year pharmacy teams play a key role in getting COVID-19 vaccines into arms quicker.

From the pandemic’s outset, when most businesses were forced to close, pharmacies stayed open, stepping up to the plate. They treated common ailments, prescribed and renewed medications and ensured continuity of medication-related care. They answered questions and navigated Canadians to resources in the health care system. They delivered COVID-19 testing and a record number of flu shots.

For COVID-19 immunization, people expect to see pharmacies involved. Pharmacy teams are educating Canadians to build confidence in getting immunized.

Pharmacy professionals work alongside primary care and public health providers, expanding vaccination capacity and making vaccines available in virtually every community. This flu season, community pharmacies administered over 5.6 million shots – with over 2 million in Ontario.

“Pharmacy teams play a key role in vaccinations, administering them routinely. They have the skill and public trust to give them,” says Sandra Hanna, registered pharmacist, owner-operator of a pharmacy in Guelph, Ontario, and CEO of the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada. “We’re pleased to partner with government and look forward to pharmacies in every community engaging in this effort, leveraging our accessibility.”

Canada has over 11,000 pharmacies (4,600 in Ontario), and 95 per cent of Canadians live within five kilometres of a pharmacy. With an estimated capacity to vaccinate three million Canadians weekly (one million of those being Ontarians), Hanna sees opportunities for pharmacies to support economic recovery and vaccinate quickly. “Pharmacy is an essential service and health care hub. We should empower all community pharmacies to play the greatest role possible so Canadians can access their services.”

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