An Albury pharmacist says she's frustrated by the slow roll out of the national COVID-19 vaccination program, after her pharmacy has waited months to be approved to administer the vaccine.
Pharmacists at Award Amcal Albury, formerly Terry White Albury, initially expected to be deliver AstraZeneca vaccines into customer arms in May.
Pharmacy owner Amanda Ward said the national roll out was falling short.
"[I'm] honestly frustrated," she said.
"Myself and my team of pharmacists have spent in excess of six to seven hours doing training that we might have done for nothing.
We're all accredited to deliver the vaccine, yet we haven't got any vaccine to administer.
"We're all accredited to deliver the vaccine, yet we haven't got any vaccine to administer."
Ms Ward said she applied in March for the pharmacy to be able to administer the vaccine.
"They asked for some clarification on that in early April and from there the understanding was we would get approved to administer or knocked back," she said.
"Somewhere in that process though, it changed, and we got classed as 'suitable', which then meant we were classed as suitable but no guarantee we would be approved to administer the vaccine.
"So then we finally received word in May that we were obviously suitable and have been waiting to hear any more since then and I still haven't heard anything else from that."
She said she and the other pharmacists felt the current program was falling short for customers, lots of whom had been coming in and asking if they would be able to get vaccinated at the pharmacy.
"In my opinion the vaccine roll out has been too slow and poorly coordinated," she said.
"As a pharmacist and as a health care worker I still haven't been able to access a vaccine for myself, let alone my customers.
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"The only email I got was from the pharmacy guild telling me to go to Sydney for a vaccination, and I'm not going to travel six hours to Sydney to have a vaccination.
"So it's up to me to book in and I've tried to book in a number of times in Wodonga but they're classing me [according to my age], not as a pharmacist so it's frustrating.
She said pharmacists were health workers, but because she was in the private sector she hadn't been eligible to get the vaccine.
"We don't get the same access as the people in the public sector, so all pharmacists at the hospital have all been vaccinated," she said.
Ms Ward said it was a missed opportunity.
"Being one of the oldest pharmacies on the border we have massive customer base, and we also know the patients the customers really, really well," she said.
"We know their family, we know their history, we know what's right for them better than anyone in [the Wodonga] hub can learn in two minutes.
"So we can take better care of those patients and we've also got the ability for the follow up care, because they'll be back in here the next week."
She said the pharmacy had more opportunity to give the second dose of the vaccine and make sure customers came back for it, because they often visited regularly.
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