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Doctors oppose vaccination against COVID-19 at Pharmacies

Doctors oppose the government plan to allow vaccination against COVID-19 to be administered at the pharmacies across Greece. They primarily cite safety reasons but also economically as the pharmacies will charge the citizens with 5 euros, while vaccination is free at the public health facilities.

In a letter to health minister Adonis Georgiadis, the president of the Panhellenic Medical Association (PIS) expressed its disagreement with the administration of Covid-19 vaccinations by pharmacies.

The PIS stressed that vaccinations must be performed in a safe environment with the presence of a doctor, with the individual’s medical record taken into consideration. It also pointed out that the ministry’s announcement that vaccinations will no longer be free would bring results contrary to those intended, that is to increase vaccinations against Covid-19.

“Vaccination culture, leading to sustained, timely and consistent vaccination coverage, is cultivated through the doctor-patient relationship of trust, primarily, and secondarily, through sustained promotional actions to the general public, at an appropriate time, with a clear message,” the PIS underlined.

On their part, the pharmacists reacted strongly and accused the doctors for opposing any action taken by the pharmacists.

“The doctors react to any action taken by the pharmacies – which are an organized primary care network,” the president of the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association (PPA), Apostolos Valtas told health issues website

“They reacted to the rapid tests and they also reacted to the flu vaccination that was formalized with the legislative seal from the Parliament, they appealed to the Council of State and lost, as the CoS ruled that pharmacies are primary health care areas and, of course, they must proceed and carry out flu vaccination,” Valtas emphasized.

Responding to doctors’ complaints about “unsafe vaccinations in pharmacies” the PPA president cited “the infinitesimal percentage of adverse effects (mainly allergic reactions) caused by the Pfizer vaccine.”

Regarding the charge of  €5, Valtas said that people will still have a choice, to decide whether they get the vaccination at the pharmacy or at the vaccination center thus noting that such centers (now) do not serve well due to distance and inconvenience.

“We will not receive any additional payment from the state, while the doctors received 50 euros for vaccination at home and 20 euros for vaccinations i their their office”,Varlas said.

PS One would dare speculating that the whole row is just about money…

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