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Published: 20 january 2021 21:33

Eurovaistinė chairman: pharmacies aim to begin vaccinations in March

Laimonas Devyžis
Asmeninio archyvo nuotr. / Laimonas Devyžis

Laimonas Devyžis, the board chairman of Lithuania’s main pharmacy network Eurovaistinė, says that the possibility of receiving vaccinations at pharmacies from tick-borne encephalitis and the flu is a priority project for the company this year. The hope is that it will be implemented by the second half of March.

L. Devyžis says that this service is to be launched at eight of the network’s pharmacies in five of the country’s major cities, with more than fifty pharmacists preparing for this. However, the service will not be limited to this, and in the future it is planned for it to be offered in a wider range of the network’s pharmacies.

Only advanced-practice pharmacists will be able to offer vaccinations, having completed a course for extra qualifications. The pharmacists will undergo courses lasting almost 40 hours, which will include both theoretical knowledge and practical skills training. Advanced-practice pharmacists are now being trained by the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, and it is hoped that the programme will soon also be offered at Vilnius University.

Patients will also be able to receive vaccinations from tick-borne encephalitis and the flu at Eurovaistinė pharmacies, but the Eurovaistinė board chairman does not dismiss the possibility that in the future, coronavirus vaccinations will also be offered.

“We are prepared to participate in the pandemic containment process, and as soon as the possibility emerges we will seek to comply with the requirements that will be established,” the company’s board chairman assures. The tick-borne encephalitis and flu vaccinations are to be offered at the pharmacies because they are in high demand, and are particularly relevant to society.

According to L. Devyžis, it is currently necessary to ensure that the pharmacies which are to offer vaccinations will comply with established requirements. “Pharmacies face premise space and ventilation requirements, it is important to ensure that hot and cold water is available. In the smallest pharmacies these services will not be available, but in the future, when opening new pharmacies and reconstructing existing ones, we will definitely take this into account,” he says.

The practices of other countries show that upon launching vaccinations at pharmacies, the number of vaccinated individuals rises. Vaccinations are already offered in pharmacies across a significant number of countries – patients already value the option being available in Norway, Portugal, and Sweden amongst other nations.

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