New year, new pharmacist vaccines


2019 new year

As of 1 January 2019, NSW pharmacists can now provide dTpa and MMR vaccines in addition to influenza vaccines, to anyone 16 years and over

People in NSW can now get vaccinated against whooping cough and measles by visiting their local pharmacy.

In late October the state government announced expanded pharmacist vaccination beyond the flu jab, following in the footsteps of Victoria, Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia.

At the beginning of this year the changes were officially rolled out.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said: “People will have more choice when it comes to vaccination, and whether you live in regional NSW or the city, that’s a good thing.”

In welcoming the NSW Government’s changes, PSA NSW President Professor Peter Carroll said allowing accredited pharmacists to vaccinate gave people more choice about when and where to get vaccinated.

“Allowing accredited pharmacists to vaccinate against whooping cough and measles will further boost NSW’s vaccination rates by making immunisation more accessible,” said Professor Carroll.

“Particularly in regional and remote NSW, people may have trouble accessing a GP. In addition, some people do not visit a GP regularly, or do not have a GP.

“Allowing accredited pharmacists to vaccinate will increase vaccination rates and herd immunity within the community,” he said.

“I congratulate the NSW Government on this initiative which will without doubt increase vaccination rates and help to protect the people of NSW from these preventable diseases.”

Pharmacy Guild of Australia (NSW) President David Heffernan also welcomed the decision.

“A momentous milestone not only for NSW community pharmacists but more so for the NSW community as a whole,” he wrote in the latest edition of the state Guild Bulletin.

“I would like to acknowledge the incredible bi-partisan support regarding this initiative,” he said.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the record high rates of vaccination in NSW is a great public health achievement.

“Now, with this additional range of vaccinations available from pharmacists, we want to encourage new grandparents, carers of infants, and partners of pregnant women to get vaccinated to ensure they don’t catch whooping cough and pass it on to their babies,” Mr Hazzard said.

PSA National President Dr Chris Freeman applauded the NSW Government’s initiative to build on the state’s already high vaccination rates.

“This brings NSW in line with other states such as the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria where pharmacists already provide dTpa and MMR vaccinations.”

In 2018, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council announced their decision to establish a working group to consider a nationally consistent approach to pharmacist administered vaccinations.

 “A nationally consistent approach to vaccinations will improve access for all Australians,” Dr Freeman said.

“PSA is looking forward to working with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee to make full use of pharmacists’ expertise across the country so they can provide a wider range of vaccinations.”

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