Victoria sees its first pharmacist-administered jab


PSA Victorian Branch President Ben Marchant administers the first vaccination by a pharmacist to new grandma Kathleen Philip in Melbourne today watched on by Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy MP.
PSA Victorian Branch President Ben Marchant administers the first vaccination by a pharmacist to new grandma Kathleen Philip in Melbourne, watched on by Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy MP.

The first pharmacist-administered vaccination in Victoria has been welcomed as an important public health boost by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

In a healthcare milestone, the first patient in Victoria was vaccinated for pertussis today by PSA Victorian Branch President Ben Marchant at Spiro Koutsis Pharmacy in Melbourne, supported by the Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy and senior health officials.

New regulations in Victoria allow pharmacists to administer influenza and pertussis-containing vaccines to adults at approved pharmacies, including those who qualify for the National Immunisation program and the Victorian Government Parent’s Whooping Cough Vaccination program.

During the vaccination, attended by Victorian pharmacy and healthcare leaders, Marchant applauded the Victorian Government’s support to enable pharmacist-delivered vaccinations to provide important healthcare benefits to local communities across the State.

“Pharmacist-delivered immunisation is an effective public health service and helps vaccinate members of the community, including those with chronic conditions, who previously would not have been vaccinated,” Marchant says.

“Pharmacists can now play an important role in promoting vaccination and reducing the impact of vaccine-preventable disease in the community.”

Pharmacists administering vaccinations in Victoria must undergo an accredited training program to ensure they have the knowledge, understanding and skills to deliver vaccines and identify and treat any possible side-effects.

“PSA is delighted to support the profession by offering an extensive training program to equip pharmacists in immunisation as a major public health boost,” Marchant says.

PSA acknowledged and thanked the Victorian Government, Health Minister, Chief Health Officer, Department of Health, the allied health workforce and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia for helping to bring this project to fruition.

On a national level, pharmacist-delivered vaccinations are now approved in SA, Queensland, Victoria, ACT, NSW, WA and Tasmania.  The Northern Territory is still finalising regulations to deliver pharmacist immunisations, which are currently occurring through a pilot program.

PSA has trained more than 1850 pharmacists around the country, according to the latest statistics, to meet growing demand in the wake of legislative changes in several States, enabling pharmacists to deliver high-quality immunisation services in pharmacies.

Image: PSA Victorian Branch President Ben Marchant administers the first vaccination by a pharmacist to new grandma Kathleen Philip in Melbourne today watched on by Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy MP.

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1 Comment

  1. Ron Batagol
    21/06/2016

    It is great to see pharmacists now directly involved in providing a readily-accessible community service ,
    for people requiring vaccinations and vaccination boosters for potentially serious diseases such as influenza and whooping cough.

    During 2015, I had an involvement over many months on two related fronts, in correspondence with
    the appropriate authorities, specifically concerning updating recommendations for Pertussis vaccine boosters in pregnancy and for young infants, so as to encourage our health authorities to ensure that Australia updated its recommendations as soon as possible, in line with those operating in the U.S. and U.K.

    Firstly, I corresponded with , and receiving positive feedback from, State and Federal health
    authorities, with regard to incorporating and funding at State and Federal levels, Pertussis vaccine
    boosters, to be available for women to have in every pregnancy , with recommendations that partners and those in close contact with newborn and young infants also receive pertussis vaccine boosters, to try to prevent very young , as yet unvaccinated, infants acquiring life-threatening whooping cough.

    Secondly, again in line with established overseas practices, it was important to ensure that the
    recommendations in the Immunise Australia Program and the NHMRC Immunisation Handbook reflected those operating overseas, with respect to the first Pertussis booster vaccine for children being given at 18 months of age, instead of at 4 years of age.

    Both these updates have now been incorporated into State and National Immunisation protocols, and, hopefully pharmacists will continue to play an important role the various vaccination programs to assist in preventing the outbreak of serious infectious diseases such as whooping cough and influenza in the community.

    Ron Batagol, PhC, FSHP, AGIA, Dip.Jnl,

    Pharmacist and Obstetric Drug Information Consultant.

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