A shout out to our pharmacists on World Pharmacists Day

Media release

25 September 2021

Today is World Pharmacists Day and the Ministry of Health would like to thank the sector for their agility, and commitment to the COVID-19 response and vaccine rollout.

This year’s theme is “Pharmacy: Always trusted for your health” and the Ministry would like to recognise this highly trained and professional workforce’s role in providing trusted, expert, confidential and meaningful healthcare advice and support to the local communities across Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Thank you for the important role you play as part of the wider healthcare team, both in our hospitals and communities, making sure patients understand and get the best results from their medicines,” says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

“Pharmacists, technicians and their teams continue to step up and respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  They have embraced new opportunities and we thank them for throwing their support behind the COVID-19 vaccination campaign,” says Dr Bloomfield.

More than 250 pharmacies from across New Zealand have signed up to offer vaccinations –a third of all community and primary care vaccination sites around New Zealand are pharmacies.

As at yesterday, 4,917,531 vaccinations have been administered: 3,192,380 first doses and 1,725,151 second doses.

Pharmacists have played a key role which was demonstrated last week when they were responsible for delivering 14% of our total vaccines delivered over those seven days.

“This is a phenomenal achievement from the entire health sector. We want to ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to receive the protection of a COVID-19 vaccine this year and having pharmacists on board is helping make this happen,” says Dr Bloomfield.

“Through all COVID-19 Alert Levels the pharmacy sector has demonstrated its resilience and shown its ability to change and adapt. They continue to work long hours to provide essential services, including medicines and medicines advice to their communities with many continuing to operate at the higher alert levels.

“Pharmacies have incorporated the routine use of PPE into their practices and made physical changes to their practice layouts to ensure that both the profession, their staff and the public remain safe and well.  They have also continued to make themselves available for in-person consultations.

“Pharmacies have rapidly adapted to receiving electronic prescriptions and they have successfully navigated many disruptions to the global medicines supply chain to minimise impacts on the supply of essential medicines to patients.

“The amazing work which has been performed by the pharmacy sector in the past year in response to COVID-19, on top of your usual workload is much appreciated, as well as your efforts as we rollout the COVID-19 vaccination campaign,” says Dr Bloomfield.

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