Australians are being urged to get vaccinated in a unified call from The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Pharmacy Guild.
RACGP president Dr Karen Price said increasing Australia’s vaccination uptake was a priority.
“We need to get as many vaccinations done as soon as possible to combat this virus,” Price said.
National president of the Pharmacy Guild, Adjunct professor Trent Twomey added that the evidence increasingly demonstrated there was no need for Australians to delay getting their vaccination with a view to waiting for the dose of another brand to become available to them.
Twomey’s comments alluded to a general view in the community that the mRNA Pfizer vaccine, which is currently available to some age groups in Australia, and the similar Moderna vaccine that is due to arrive in Australia in September, are preferable to the more readily available AstraZeneca shot.
“My message and that of all pharmacists and their fellow vaccinators is: Just get vaccinated. If you’re over 18, get the vaccine,” Twomey said.
“The reality is that vaccination is the way out of the COVID-19 crisis, and there is no wrong way to get vaccinated.
“There is no wrong door to enter to get your vaccination. There is no wrong vaccine to get.”
Both the RACGP and Pharmacy Guild also wanted to address recent comments made by authorities in Queensland, advising people to consider getting the first of their two vaccine shots from their GP, and following up by seeking out their second dose at a pharmacy.
The health groups argue that this advice makes no sense and want all Australians to get their first and second vaccine shots from the same provider.
“If people opt to receive their vaccine from their GP or at a pharmacy, that is their choice,” Dr Price said.
“It is vital that all people receive both vaccine doses from the same vaccinator. Continuity of care and patient safety must always be paramount, so receiving your jab from the same GP or pharmacy is the best option,” she said.
Price added that advice for people to ‘mix and match’ which provider administered their vaccine doses was not a solution to the problem of limited vaccine stock in some communities.