The Influenza Specialist Group has developed a 2016 Influenza Guide for Pharmacists which has been endorsed by the Guild, the latter reports in Forefront today.
According to the guide, pharmacists are the most frequent healthcare point of contact with the public and are ideally placed to help offer advice and to educate about 2016 influenza vaccines, colds and flu and hand hygiene.
The guide arrives after the ACT recently gave community pharmacists the green-light to administer flu vaccinations to their patients in time for the upcoming flu season.
Community pharmacists in Tasmania were also granted the right to administer the flu shot to their customers earlier this year after changes were made to legislation allowing appropriately trained pharmacists to administer influenza vaccines to people aged over 18.
Victoria is the only Australian jurisdiction yet to authorise pharmacists to deliver vaccinations; however at the APP2016 conference on the Gold Coast last week, Guild national president George Tambassis told delegates that the Victorian Government is currently looking into the possibility of pharmacists being able to access the MBS in regard to vaccination services.
Ian Strachan, from the UK’s National Pharmacy Association, told the same session that once pharmacists have done vaccination once or twice, they find it to be a “fantastic” service.
“Go for it, you’ll love it,” he said.
The guide is available from the Guild’s Vaccinations resource page. As well as providing background on flu, trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines, and antiviral treatment, it outlines a role for pharmacists in educating customers on the difference between colds and flu and hand hygiene, as well as an advocacy role.