First Tasmanian pharmacists ready to vaccinate: PSA

The first pharmacists have undergone immunisation training in Tasmania to enable them to provide vaccinations for the coming flu season, the PSA says.

The Tasmanian Government last week reformed health regulations to enable trained pharmacists to administer flu vaccines in approved sites across Tasmania.

PSA Tasmanian Branch President Rachel Dienaar says following an amendment to Poisons Regulations, the first group of pharmacists underwent training in Launceston on Friday.

“The PSA’s training will ensure pharmacists in Tasmania will be ready to administer flu vaccinations in time for the 2016 flu season,” Dienaar says.

With the 2015 flu season being one of the worst on record in Tasmania, Dienaar says pressure will be eased on the local health system as pharmacists prepare to vaccinate.

Influenza had a significant impact on the state’s health system last year with 1434 notifications, Dienaar says.

“This positive health outcome for Tasmania has occurred thanks to the support of State Health Minister Michael Ferguson and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia,” Dienaar says.

“The real winner is the community – a recent Queensland immunisation trial showed 15% of people vaccinated had never had a flu vaccination before and 40% were walk-in patients, highlighting the appeal of easy access.”

Already 80 pharmacists in Tasmania have signed up for the PSA training.

The PSA training courses, which have already been run in Victoria, SA, WA, NSW and Queensland, are based on the training used internationally by more than 150,000 pharmacists and in the highly successful Queensland Pharmacy Immunisation Pilot.

The PSA’s vaccination training program comprises two parts: online pre-reading, and face-to-face workshops, which have been held across the country.

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