Queensland pharmacist vaccination now permanent

Pharmacist vaccination in Queensland is now a permanent fixture, as the Queensland Government has approved legislation to enable pharmacists to administer vaccinations to the public in a community pharmacy setting.

PSA Queensland Branch President Bruce Elliot welcomed the Government’s decision, saying the amended legislation will enable pharmacist-delivered vaccinations to provide healthcare benefits to local communities.

“This legislation will allow trained pharmacists to vaccinate for influenza, measles and pertussis, providing positive health outcomes for the community,” Elliot says.

“Community pharmacy provides a convenient and easily-accessible location for consumers to access vital health care services, such as immunisations. Additionally, this legislation will ensure there is a trained cohort of pharmacists who could also be authorised to quickly deliver vaccinations to the community during times of emergency or pandemics.”

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia Queensland Branch President Tim Logan says that the change in legislation is a fantastic example of the Guild and the PSA working together to advocate for their members.

“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge both the former Queensland Minister for Health, The Hon. Lawrence Springborg, MP and the current Minister for Health The Hon. Cameron Dick MP for their interest and eventual action for regulation,” says Logan.

“We also acknowledge the interest in, and guidance to the pharmacist vaccination trial from Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young.

“Through the joint efforts of the Queensland Branches of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and PSA as well as Queensland Health we have pioneered the regulation of pharmacist’s delivering immunisations in pharmacies which is now seen in every State and Territory in Australia, apart from Victoria,” Logan says.

He paid tribute to the pharmacists who had invested time and money in qualifying for participation in the trial, and for achieving such notably positive results in their delivery of the program.

Queensland has been a national leader in pharmacist immunisations following the success of the high-profile Queensland Pharmacy Immunisation Pilot which has been strongly supported by James Cook University, Queensland University of Technology, PSA and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

QPIP Pilot research lead and Professor (Head), School of Clinical Sciences QUT, Dr Lisa Nissen, says that the new legislation follows the successful Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot (QPIP); which investigated the benefits of registered pharmacists providing influenza vaccines to members of the public in the setting of a community pharmacy.

“QPIP was vital in proving community pharmacy as a convenient and easily accessible location for consumers to access vaccination services.

“Over 35,000 adults were immunised by a pharmacist, as a part of the two year trial,” Dr Nissen says.

“QPIP highlighted the long-term viability of in-pharmacy vaccinations services, with 99.4% of patients surveyed saying they would be happy to return to a community pharmacy to receive a vaccination in the future, and 99.5% of patients surveyed would recommend the service to others.”

In order to administer vaccinations in Queensland the vaccinating pharmacist and the pharmacy premises must be compliant with the requirements of the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996, Drug Therapy Protocol – Pharmacist Vaccination Program and the Pharmacist Vaccination Standard.

Click here for some Frequently Asked Questions.

Image: the QPIP team accept the Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Award 2014.

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