Pharmacies are one of the few businesses along Boundary Street that are not short of customers at this time, but that does not mean they have not been impacted.

George Fotinos from Tanos Pharmacy told The Westender that they have seen a big influx of customers as a result of the covid-19 emergency.

He said much of that is due to people panic buying medications, and even vitamins.

“People are stocking up for months and months, which is causing some pressure and medication shortages.”

“If everyone buys their usual month’s supply, there should be no issues. It’s just very short-term shortages, if there’s any. But generally, we’re able to substitute the medication.”

George said there is no need to stock up and doing so just puts pressure on the pharmacy and disadvantages people in real need.

 “We need some rational thinking out there and not stockpiling three and four months’ worth of medications which makes it unfair on others who then can’t get their supplies.”

Medications for people self-isolating

George said that for people who live very locally Tanos Pharmacy will make every effort to deliver medications for them.

“We have always had a delivery service but obviously, ramping it up to big numbers may be a problem’.

George offers a number of alternatives.

“If they leave their scripts with us, they can ring ahead, and we can have it already for them. Or, maybe a neighbour or someone else can come down and collect it for you”.

 “If you’re in isolation, there’s a few options where we’ll get the medication to you.”

Options suggested for ordering your medications include:

  • leave your script with the chemist and phone in when you want it filled
  • take a photo of your script and sent it to the chemist
  • use the smart-phone app MedAdvisor – this app that enables you to link with your local pharmacist and to place your order
  • if you can’t visit the chemist, and if they cannot deliver to you, ask a neighbour or friend to pick up your supply.

Seasonal influenza vaccination

George said that stocks of the usual annual influenza vaccination will be available next week.

“So, the end of March is when we recommend that people start making bookings for their vaccinations.”

In terms of vaccinating, George said they recommend that people do get vaccinated.

“If you get a double whammy, regular ‘flu on top of the Coronavirus, then you’ll be very, very ill.”

It’s Common Sense

And, as we have all been hearing, George says:

“Just use general common sense. Social distancing of one and a half meters. Sanitise your hands as often as you can, especially if you’re handling a trolley. I think you need to be aware that it does live for quite a while on the surface of things.”

“We’re putting in protocols at the shop where we’re continually wiping down benches, we’re avoiding signing prescriptions – it’s a short-term solution to try and avoid as much contact as we can.”

For the latest advice on Covid-19 see updates at the Australian Department of Health

And, see advice here from the Australian Department of Health on Seasonal ‘flu vaccination.

Advice from TANOS to their customers