Covid-19 vaccinations in pharmacies

Mon, 17. May. 2021

As of this week, Covid-19 vaccinations are also being offered in pharmacies in the canton of Bern. The pharmacy Dr Kropf in Gstaad will participate in the vaccination campaign. Thorough planning and clear communication are needed to ensure a smooth and satisfactory process.

Since April, GPs have been vaccinating in about 300 practices. Last week, about 100 pharmacies joined them to speed up the vaccinations in the canton. Even though the vaccination supply is growing and more and more vaccination opportunities are becoming available, registration via the vacme application remains a requirement.

How do I get vaccinated?
Andrea Bähler, operations manager of the Dr Kropf pharmacy in Gstaad, explains the current state of affairs: "We will receive the first delivery of vaccines towards the end of May. Everyone who enquires these days will get the information that the pharmacy will not be able to give more information until 27 May."

Bähler assumes that appointments can primarily be booked via the vacme application. She explicitly points out that only a limited number of vaccinations will be available at the pharmacy. Staff will administer jabs alongside the ongoing daily business. Staff, space and the number of vaccine doses are limited. Therefore, the pharmacy team strongly encourages all those who wish to be vaccinated to book an appointment at the vaccination centres.

Who will be vaccinated at the pharmacy?
"We are allowed to vaccinate those willing to be vaccinated in groups F to N; that is what the canton stipulates," says Bähler. People from groups A to E get their vaccination at the vaccination centres or their GP. If they still wish to receive their jab at the pharmacy, they must have a prescription issued by their GP.

An effort
For pharmacies, participation in the vaccination campaign is not obligatory. "The initiative to offer vaccinations in the region came from us," says Bähler. "The fact that we will be vaccinating from the end of May arose from our desire to contribute everything in our power for the population of the region to get back to normal. Our options are a drop in the ocean, but if all the vaccination providers across the canton do their best, we will soon be able to cope with the demand for vaccination."

When asked how they will meet the expected rush, the operations manager clarifies that it will be a tour de force that requires meticulous preparation and clear communication. "We have to bear in mind that we will not have any additional staff or extra space for this service. We are pushing our organisational capacity to the limit with this service." The daily business has to continue.

No jabs at the Gstaaderhof pharmacy
The required effort, the lack of space for this additional service and the risk of having to reject many customers due to the limited capacity led the team at the Gstaaderhof pharmacy to decide not to offer Covid 19 vaccinations.

Based on AvS/Jenny Sterchi

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