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Surge in pharmacy flu vaccinations backs case for including the profession in the National Immunisation Program, Guild says

New evidence showing the growing reach and efficacy of influenza vaccination in community pharmacy ” makes a strong case for the inclusion of pharmacies in the National Immunisation Program (NIP),” the Pharmacy Guild of Australia believes. 

In the latest edition of its newsletter, Forefront, the Guild said data available from GuildLink confirmed there had been a spike in flu vaccinations administered in participating pharmacies, particularly in the past month during which there has been a high level of publicity about the need to get vaccinated.  

“The data recorded in the GuildCare vaccination program indicates more than 57,000 vaccinations were administered at those pharmacies in May, compared to around 40,000 in May last year,” the release said.

The data revealed that the surge in vaccinations had occurred largely in May, with the April figure for this year at 47,000 – lower than last April’s 56,000.

In light of the increased uptake, the Guild said it “welcomed the news this week that an additional 800,000 flu vaccines have been secured for the Australian market, to be available through June and July.

Unprecedented demand has seen a lift in the vaccination numbers nationally from 8.3 million last year, to around 10 million this year so far.

“There’s also been a pleasing reduction in the number of reported cases of the flu across Australia so far in May – running at 1100 with figures not yet finalised, compared to 3200 for the full month of May last year,” the Guild said.

April figures were constant at 1900 cases this year as well as last year.

The effectiveness of the pharmacy flu vaccination program backed the Guild’s case for the inclusion of pharmacies in the NIP, it said, “allowing at-risk groups including the elderly to have their flu vaccination conveniently at their local pharmacy.

Pharmacies in Victoria and Western Australia now have access to NIP vaccines for their benefit of their patients, and this should be extended in all States and Territories”.

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