Pharmacy technicians play an important role in the delivery of high-quality health care. As experts in sterile compounding, pharmacy technicians are trained in infection prevention and aseptic technique procedures. These skills are transferrable to the technical task of administering a drug or vaccine.
As Alberta’s COVID-19 immunization program expands there will be a need for as many trained immunizers as possible. Earlier this month, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health provided Direction to Seek Further Assistance from Regulated Health Practitioners with COVID-19 Immunization. This directive ensures that regulated health professionals who are authorized and have the knowledge, skill and competence to administer a vaccine can provide COVID-19 immunizations.
Alberta’s pharmacy technicians are ready to fulfill this role. Since online learning was launched in December 2020, more than 100 pharmacy technicians have registered in the program in order to prepare to administer injections. Despite having the training and expertise, Alberta pharmacy technicians are not yet authorized to perform this restricted activity. Current regulations provide a barrier to utilizing Alberta’s pharmacy technicians in this capacity.
Pharmacy technicians in Nova Scotia, Ontario and internationally, including the United States and United Kingdom, have already been granted authorization to administer vaccines. PTSA has asked the Honourable Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health to enact an order to grant Alberta’s pharmacy technicians authorization to administer injections. Read the letters to the Minister here:
Individual pharmacy technicians and pharmacists have written messages to the Health Minister and the Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP) in support. We need more pharmacy professionals to do the same.
What can you do to help?
- Write a letter to the Minister of Health requesting authorization to inject. Use the letter template for pharmacy technicians and modify if with your personal experiences. How will this practice change improve the care you’re providing to patients? What have you done to prepare for this new role?
- Once you’ve sent your own letter, share them with your colleagues and encourage them to write a letter too. Use the letter template for pharmacists
- You can also ask ACP counselors what they are doing to help see the necessary regulation and policy changes to enable injection by pharmacy technicians. Contact information is available on the ACP website: https://abpharmacy.ca/council-list
- Don’t wait to register for the online training program. Click here for more information.
- Don’t forget to voice your agreement by commenting below and sharing on social media