Georgian to host COVID-19 vaccine injection training for pharmacy technicians
April 29, 2021

Georgian is hosting an injection training certificate program for pharmacy technicians now that they’re allowed to administer COVID-19 vaccinations.

The one-day training will take place May 8 in the pharmacy technician labs in Georgian’s Sadlon Centre for Health, Wellness and Sciences (M building) at its Barrie Campus.

The Ontario government amended the Regulated Health Professions Act in January to allow pharmacy technicians to administer COVID-19 vaccinations until March 31, 2022.

We spoke with Toni Cano, professor and co-ordinator of Georgian’s Pharmacy Technician program, who organized the training program at the college through the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA).

Gloved hands hold a glass bottle reading COVID-19 vaccine.

Why is Georgian hosting vaccine injection training?

Firstly, to give our students and alumni the opportunity to get the training.

When these training sessions for pharmacy technicians first started in Ontario, they were only in Toronto. OPA has since added other locations, but there were none in Simcoe Muskoka.

I thought, “Let’s get training up here so folks don’t have to drive to Toronto, especially right now if they don’t feel comfortable doing that, or if they had to get a hotel if travelling a long distance.”

Being able to help some of those people in our catchment area, whether they’re graduates or other pharmacy technicians, is a nice opportunity.

There are 32 spots available and we only have 12 filled, so there’s still plenty of room if people want to register.

What does the training involve?

Participants will be trained by an injection administrator trainer – someone who administers injections and is also trained to instruct pharmacists and pharmacy technicians on how to safely inject vaccines.

The training is a blended course, meaning there are modules participants have to do online and then there’s the in-person live session on May 8. Participants have to do some of it in person because they have to be observed injecting another person at least once before they can successfully pass the course.

More details about the course are available on the OPA website.

A droplet of liquid comes out of the tip of a needle.

How do you sign up for the injection training?

Pharmacy technicians can sign up for the training on the OPA’s website.

Pharmacy technician students can also take the training. They can’t do the injections yet until they become pharmacy technicians, but they can certainly do the training so they have it under their belt.

How is the training making an impact during the pandemic?

It’s allowing pharmacy technicians to contribute to the COVID-19 crisis if clinics need help with resources in their vaccine rollouts.

Our technicians are trained in aseptic technique and sterile technique, so they can, first and foremost, help with preparation of the vaccine. They can also contribute with the administration of the vaccine at all clinics.

In the next coming months, not only is it expected for vaccine eligibility to open up, but now we’re looking at people getting their second doses. Clinics are going to be needing a lot of people to administer vaccines.

Pharmacy technicians are already working in hospitals and in the community, so they can support vaccine clinics in hospital and community pharmacies or in public health clinics.