Pharmacies across Canada underutilized; less than half included in vaccine rollout
April 15, 2021 (Ottawa): As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge across the country, Canada’s vaccine strategy has never been more important; but thousands of pharmacies across the country are still waiting to get involved.
And while most provinces have started to roll out vaccines to pharmacies, access remains limited in many regions, with many pharmacies still not receiving access to all approved vaccine types.
With 11,000 locations across the country, leveraging Canada’s vast pharmacy network means bringing vaccines closer to Canadians and making them accessible to more communities. Pharmacies are a presence in every community, yet they continue to be selectively utilized in most regions.
“Pharmacists are waiting and ready to do more,” says Christina Tulk, pharmacist and CPhA Chair. “Every day we are hearing from pharmacists across the country who have thousands of patients on waiting lists. Pharmacies are close to home, familiar and trusted places for many Canadians. We need to direct the vaccine supply to where people want to go to get vaccinated.”
A national survey showed that Canadians want to get vaccinated at their community pharmacy, with 43% of respondents reporting the pharmacy as their preferred location to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, compared to 42% favouring a physician’s office and 14% a public health clinic.
As scheduled vaccine supply continues to ramp up, pharmacies can play a greater role in getting those vaccines into the arms of Canadians. With an adequate supply of vaccines, and by fully utilizing Canada’s pharmacy network, pharmacies could administer millions of doses per week.
CPhA is calling on governments to expand access to vaccines in pharmacies by increasing the number of pharmacy locations able to administer and broadening the supply to include Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
About the Canadian Pharmacists Association
The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians.
For more information, please contact:
Strategic Communications Manager
Canadian Pharmacists Association