Bjelovar, Požega, and Šibenik First to Launch Vaccinations at Croatian Pharmacies

Daniela Rogulj

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“At three pharmacies, one each in Bjelovar, Požega, and Šibenik, the vaccination of citizens against Covid-19 could start by the end of next week, and other pharmacies will join them as soon as they are organized and have personnel ready for the job. In addition, a dozen more pharmacies have informed us that they have found doctors who are willing to vaccinate at pharmacies so that they could get involved in this work very soon,” announced the president of the Croatian Chamber of Pharmacists, Ana Soldo, as reported by Jutarnji List

She adds that technical, more precisely IT problems regarding entering the system for those who will be vaccinated in pharmacies have just been solved. Namely, all pharmacies are connected to CEZIH, i.e., the health information system that enables data entry on the vaccinated person.

Soldo emphasizes that at least 40 to 50 pharmacies across Croatia have already announced they will be included in vaccinations. Therefore, the problem of other vaccination teams in which there must be a doctor should be solved after August 15.

“According to the current law, pharmacists are not allowed to vaccinate citizens, and therefore mobile teams must be formed to come to pharmacies. Of course, everything could have already started, but the current problems are doctors’ vacations. But one of the possibilities is to include retired doctors who have already contacted us and could start vaccinations immediately.

We have resolved the doubts about their inclusion in the vaccination, i.e., they will do it through our connection with CEZIH, which means that all those vaccinated at pharmacies will be immediately on the vaccination platform,” says Soldo. She adds that Covid certificates will be issued to those vaccinated. Those vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson will receive it immediately after the first dose, and others after the second dose of the vaccine.

After first announcing the news, there are more and more inquiries from citizens who would like to be vaccinated at their nearest pharmacy—namely the elderly who have a problem going to vaccine points in big cities.

Everyone who intends to be vaccinated at pharmacies will have to announce their arrival and will be able to choose the vaccine. Namely, it is known that, for example, there are six doses in one bottle of Pfizer, so six citizens who want this vaccine should be vaccinated in one day at a pharmacy.

Pharmacies will also be provided with an ‘observation area’ for ten minutes after vaccination due to possible allergic reactions, for which mobile teams will be equipped with anti-shock therapy as well as at health centers and public health institutes when organizing vaccinations.

Payment has also been resolved, which means that those who will participate in vaccinations at pharmacies will be paid.

“Like all other teams, these mobile teams that will be vaccinating at pharmacies will be paid in the same way and the same amount by the HZZO,” says the director of the HZZO, Lucian Vukelic.

The president of HLJK says that it is illogical that pharmacists in Croatia cannot vaccinate because, during the pandemic in other countries, their employees vaccinated a large number of citizens.

“We will try to solve this problem by the end of the year with legal changes because pharmacies are interested, as evidenced by the fact that as many as 180 pharmacies in Croatia applied for flu vaccination last season. Given that pharmacies are very accessible to citizens, I believe it will solve the issue because we will thus achieve greater vaccination not only against Covid-19 but also against influenza, as evidenced by the example of the United Kingdom where pharmacists perform a large part of the vaccinations,” says Soldo.

She adds that the recent news that pharmacies can issue Covid certificates has shown that they should have their place in greater access to health care.

Given that we cannot be satisfied with the vaccination rate against Covid-19, especially among those over 80, vaccination in pharmacies is an opportunity to improve these figures, i.e., to protect the most vulnerable part of the population against an epidemiologically demanding autumn. In addition to vaccination at pharmacies, this means that mobile teams should also be hired to vaccinate the elderly, immobile, and people with limited mobility in their homes.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and choose your preferred language.


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