Victorian pharmacists can now administer vaccinations outside their normal location, says the state Health Minister
While the state fights to slow the spread of coronavirus, Victorians need to protect themselves against other preventable illnesses, the state Government has warned… particularly influenza.
The Andrews Labor Government said that it is making it it easier and more convenient for Victorians to get their annual flu shot and other important immunisations through their local pharmacy.
From 1 April, Victorian pharmacists can administer approved vaccinations outside of their normal location – through the mobile and outreach services of a hospital, pharmacy or pharmacy depot, increasing access to immunisations for all Victorians.
The Government also reiterated that appropriately trained pharmacists can now administer the flu shot to children 10 years of age and older.
Pharmacists will also be able to administer the measles-mumps-rubella, meningococcal ACWY and whooping cough-containing vaccines to people 15 years of age and older. The Government says that combined with the threat of coronavirus, these could overwhelm the state’s hospitals.
“With 87% of Victorians residing within 2.5 km of a pharmacist, a trip to the local pharmacy is often more convenient than a trip to the GP,” it says.
“Attending a pharmacy or a GP to get a flu shot is a valid reason to leave the house under the Chief Health Officer’s Stage Three directions, providing social distancing is practiced wherever possible.
“Getting a flu shot is more important than ever this year to keep healthy and reduce the pressure on our health services. Immunisations save lives, and it’s vital that all Victorians can access vaccination services close to home.
“Since last flu season, Victoria has more pharmacists trained to provide immunisations and more locations to provide these services in, making it more convenient than ever before.”
Pharmacists have been provided with advice by the department about physical distancing, hygiene and infection control in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
“By getting more health professionals involved in our fight against this year’s flu season, more of our doctors and nurses can focus on other health conditions,” Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos said.