The Pharmacy Guild has welcomed a move towards harmonising pharmacist vaccination across Australian jurisdictions
The Federal, State and Territory Health Ministers stated that a nationally consistent approach to pharmacist administered vaccination is desirable.
In the COAG Health Council communique, the Ministers have directed the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee to establish a working group to consider and recommend options to the COAG Health Council.
In all jurisdictions across Australia, trained community pharmacists can legally administer vaccinations, but the range of vaccinations and the allowable age of patients varies from one jurisdiction to another. (See below.)
The National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, George Tambassis, said: “It makes great sense for Australians, regardless of where they live, to have the same option of accessing vaccinations conveniently and safely from their local pharmacist.
“ We welcome the Ministers’ support for the common sense position that there should be a uniform availability of such vaccination services across Australia.
“This year we have seen hundreds of thousands of patients choosing the convenience of getting their flu vaccination at their local pharmacy, administered by a fully trained immunising pharmacist.
“However, in some States vaccines under the National Immunisation Program (NIIP) for older and at-risk patients are available through pharmacy, but not available in other jurisdictions.
“In some States for example, patients can have a vaccination against whooping cough at their local pharmacy, but not across the border.
“It makes sense that pharmacists nationwide can safely administer the same vaccines to their patients in the interests of herd immunity and a better, more efficient health system” Mr Tambassis said.
The Pharmacy Guild says that it is committed to assisting the working group established by Australian Health Protection Principal Committee to achieve an outcome that enhances access for patients.