NT pharmacists to vaccinate kids

Pharmacist administers a vaccine. Source: PSA.
Pharmacist administers a vaccine. Source: PSA.

Northern Territory pharmacists will now be able to provide flu vaccinations to children aged 10 and up, in a move welcomed by the Guild

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia NT Branch President, Terry Battalis, welcomed the announcement on Thursday that accredited pharmacists will be able to vaccination children aged 10 and up against influenza.

The Guild said that additional supplies of the flu vaccine have now arrived in pharmacies in the Territory, and called for people who have not yet been vaccinated this year to do so.

Mr Battalis said that demand for flu vaccination has been exceptionally high this year and largely unforeseen, partly because of the focus on health and respiratory wellness caused by the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Many community pharmacies across Australia used all of their pre-ordered stock and have been waiting for the new supplies commissioned by the Federal Government.

“With stocks now replenished, we encourage anyone who has not yet had their flu vaccination to contact their local community pharmacy to arrange a vaccination now,” Mr Battalis said.

“Community pharmacies across Australia are benefitting public health and herd immunity by vaccinating millions of Australians. 

“We welcome today’s announcement by the Chief Health Officer that NT pharmacists can now provide flu vaccinations to children from the age of 10.

“This brings us finally into line with all other jurisdictions. With the threat from the COVID-19 pandemic still very real, it is important that people remain as healthy as possible and avoid contracting influenza at a time of vulnerability to coronavirus.”

Adrian Marshall from Amcal+ pharmacies in Casuarina and Palmerston also noted the unprecedented demand for flu vaccination after the past few months

“It has been frustrating to have people come in requesting flu vaccines and not be able to access the stock we need to offer this important service,” Mr Marshall said.

“Our flu vaccination service has been really popular; customers really appreciate how quick and easy it is to come into the pharmacy and have one of our trained pharmacists administer the vaccination on the spot.”

On Tuesday, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd spoke to 3AW Talking Health’s Sally Cockburn and highlighted the greater than usual need for Australians to have their flu vaccination this year.

“Australians are getting vaccinated against influenza at levels we’ve never seen before, which is absolutely terrific, and to such an extent that the Australian Government has just released another two million doses of the influenza vaccine,” he said.

“So if people haven’t had their flu vaccine yet, there’s still time to do so. Please contact your GP or your pharmacy and get that done.”

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