Government decision will protect more SA children from influenza

Friday, 6 March 2020


South Australian children will have increased access to life saving vaccinations thanks to changes in pharmacists’ scope of practice announced today by the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade.


“Last year we saw South Australia hit by one of the worst flu seasons on record and the best way to protect our community in the future is through immunisation,” Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) South Australian President, Robyn Johns said.


“The more barriers we can remove to people getting vaccinated the better. The goal is herd immunity, having as many members of our community protected from infectious diseases like the flu as possible.


“Research shows consumers find pharmacies highly accessible because there is usually one in our neighbourhood or nearby and they are generally open longer hours than other primary health care services.


“Pharmacists already provide a range of vaccinations including flu vaccinations for South Australians 16 years and over. Now, pharmacists can extend this proven, safe service to children 10 years of age and above.”


“The Government is to be commended for bringing South Australia into line with pharmacist vaccination in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania, leading the way for other jurisdictions.”


Pharmacists authorised to provide vaccination services are trained in the administration of medicines. Pharmacists’ training to administer vaccines is similar to that completed by other health care professionals. The administration of vaccines by pharmacists complements the excellent work done by GPs, nurses, indigenous health workers and other immunisers.


“We believe this decision will protect more South Australians from influenza by increasing immunisation rates within our community at a time when people are concerned about protecting themselves from the communicable diseases,” Ms Johns said.


“We need people to be protected from all vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly at this time when there are concerns about the impact of coronavirus in our community.”


PSA continues to advocate for a national approach to pharmacist administered vaccinations to reduce confusion, ensure better access for patients to quality vaccination services and utilise the pharmacist workforce appropriately.


Media contact: Helen Stone, 0418 846 426