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[ACT] Free P2 Masks (for Smoke Sensitive People) at Selected Pharmacies


Quote from ACT Gov Page

On 6 January 2020 it was announced that P2/N95 masks are being delivered to pharmacies and will be available for people who are most at risk of the health impacts of exposure to the smoke from tomorrow 7 January 2020. Masks will also be available through the Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service for their clients.

This is the small supply of P2/N95 masks provided by the Commonwealth Government for the ACT.

The groups of particularly sensitive individuals who will be able to access these masks, if they choose, include:

  1. people with existing chronic lung and heart conditions, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema, and heart disease
  2. all pregnant women, and
  3. people over 65 years of age.

Each eligible person will receive two masks at the pharmacy.

ACT Health recommends that people with lung condition, such as chronic obstructive airways disease, asthma or emphysema, and people with chronic heart conditions, should seek advice from their medical practitioner prior to using these masks.

In regards to retail sales of masks, some are available at Canberra pharmacies and hardware stores.

Canberra Times Article

List of retailers with stock of P2 Masks for purchase:

As of 2.30pm, here's where masks were available to buy:

The Pharmacy On Petrie (Canberra Centre)
The Pharmacy On Northbourne (Canberra City)
The Pharmacy on Franklin (Manuka)
Develin's City Chemist
Priceline Pharmacy Canberra Centre
Capital Chemist Lyneham
Capital Chemist Calwell
Capital Chemist Palmerston
Capital Chemist Southlands
Project Lighting (Phillip)
Hip Pocket (Phillip)
Inspirations (Belconnen)
Haymes Paint (Mitchell)
Eyecentric Optometrist (Manuka)

Please note this list may be incomplete or out of date.

A Capital Chemists spokeswoman said they got 300 on Monday afternoon, with more to arrive on Tuesday morning.

Related Stores


closed Comments

  • +12 votes

    What about NSW????

  • Free? "As of 2.30pm, here's where masks were available to buy:"

  • It's weird that jv fits all 3 of those categories.

  • only be distributed to people "sensitive" to smoke, such as pregnant women, people with chronic lung and heart conditions, and people older than 65

    So based on the ACT's population being a bit over 400k, are they trying to say that nearly 1/4 of the population are in that category? Or has Barnaby just been busy again with women who work under for him?

    • The filters in these masks don't last very long and so the masks need changing regularly. 100,000 masks doesn't equal one per person for the entire bushfire season.

      • Well where in the article (the entire basis of this 'deal') does it say that people can get more than one, or how often they can get it if they can get multiples?

        There either needs to be a more 'official' link or more information from the link provided as at the moment it's next to useless.

        • It was on the Canberra news last night and a pharmacist was explaining they need to give out a few to each person as they only last a few hours in this smoke. Also don’t get them wet as apparently that ruins them as well.

          • @dan76n: A few hours?! So this is just a token gesture to try and get some more publicity about how much they're doing for people. Wow.

            • @Porthos: A packet of an old dust mask I have says 8 hours usage. And I imagine for legal purposes that's a very conservative number.

              Be a shame if people were wasting them if just for a few hours usage.

              • @dufflover: Still wouldn't last more than a day though for people with severe repository issues though.

                This really is just a token gesture which gives them some great publicity but that's about it.

                • @Porthos: If you are wearing it for that duration and/or have severe respiratory issues then you have other problems.

                  People in those groups shouldn't even be relying on a mask in that case.

                  • @dufflover: Well no shit, but what exactly else are they meant to do? There's plenty of people who can't just up and leave to go elsewhere or clog up the hospital system during this time either.

                    Totally just realised my phone autocorrected to 'repository' instead of 'respiratory'. Gotta love Apple.

                    • @Porthos: I dunno but you're the one asserting it is a token gesture ignoring everyone else inbetween who can benefit from having a mask.

                      • @dufflover:

                        I dunno but you're the one asserting it is a token gesture ignoring everyone else inbetween who can benefit from having a mask.

                        Because supplying 2 masks per person is just a token gesture. Make it unlimited for the people who really need them and they should have done this weeks ago.

                        It’s just the government patting themselves on the back and getting a good headline for it until you go into the actual details and realise that 2 masks will last then barely any time.

                    • @Porthos: Daughter's neighbours - both retired and both asthmatic - have been holed up in their house for two weeks. Even a relatively light concentration of smoke is bad for some people unfortunately.

                      • @Possumbly: So if they’re holed up in their house, how are they meant to go and get this ‘deal’ of 2 masks each from a few selected places that could be a long way from their home?

        • +2 votes

          From https://health.act.gov.au/public-health-alert/heavy-smoke-an...

          Each eligible person will receive two masks at the pharmacy.

          • @f4te: Surprising based on that link though it says for children under 14, yet in the PDF it says:

            P2/ N95masksare only available in adult sizes and will not fit most children aged less than 12 years. Making modifications to adult masks to fit them to children is not recommended

            So if you're aged 12 - 14 you're sweet, under that you're on your own.

            • @Porthos: My young kids started crying when I said I couldn't find masks to fit them. They found it so hard to believe. I tried to explain they were designed for adults to do safety work in but with so much smoke around it's not just about that so maybe what's available will change. Yes, they "shouldn't even be relying on a mask" but also "shouldn't even be in this apocalyptic situation".

              • @kiteo: I do this crazy thing with mine and masking tape round the nose area, to make it seal. Can't guarantee they won't cry when the tape gets ripped off, but at least it would fit? XD

              • @kiteo: If it helps, Vogmask make kid sized masks. I got some from theallergyahop.com

    • Greg Hunt's website actually says 400,000 for ACT (also every eligible person can get 2)

      The Government is providing more than 1 million masks to NSW, 455,400 to Victoria, approximately 400,000 to the ACT, 19,200 to Australia Post, and 3000 to the Australian Federal Police. More will be made available should they be requested.

      • That's what the deal link should be to then, as it gives a different number to what this deal is (plus also includes they're for children under 14 as well).

      • They're breaking out the pandemic stockpile, aren't they?

  • Good gesture i guess but a bit late, I was down there last week and the smoke was already horrid. Couldn't see the parliament from Mt Ainslie it was so bad.

  • If kids protest with these on to climate change will the police arrest them for illegal assembly?

  • Just like an eBay deal … I'm not targeted.

    (j/k ofcourse)

  • Why aren’t Chemist Warehouse and Priceline part of this one?

  • Be nice if these were handed out in Sydney at train stations for free

    • So you could get a free smoke mask at the expense of others?

      Canberra is like 5x more toxic than any other AUS city ATM and everywhere is sold out. Hell at Myer yesterday they were ripping Dyson air purifiers out of the stands to sell to people. (Apparently Dyson have custom enclosures/locks to prevent that… lol)

      It'd be nice if every city could get free masks, but let's be honest, Canberra needs them a lot more right now.

      • It's not zero sum and the air quality in Sydney is also bad independent of other areas. NSW Government could also source some and hand them out for free assuming wholesalers have stock

        • It'd be great if everyone didn't have to pay for their health. Smoke levels are equivalent to a pack of cigarettes a day; health wise that's a larger drain on our economy than the cost of free masks.

          Unfortunately in times of crisis we have to make do. Distributing masks to the most affected regions to support the greatest number of people in need. Canberra has a small population, high wealth, a toxic atmosphere and is sheltering a large number of fire-affected Australians.

  • Obviously the country-wide allocation now is a good thing, but it does highlight how under-prepared we were to arrive at this point.

  • If you need to wear one of these for any extended period it's worth paying for the type with an exhalation valve. So much easier to breathe.

  • Of course only in ACT. What about the rest of the country? Bloody government… Have they only just realised that the country is on fire because it's smoky in Canberra?

  • My in-laws (both >70 years of age) were charged by a Capital Chemist branch for these masks.

    About four days later, they went back to get the some more and the chemist/owner wanted to charge them. When they questioned if these were the same masks that the ACT Government were handing out for free, the chemist/owner backed off and gave the masks to them for free. He also handed back the money he charged them the first time.

    I'm just saying.