Pharmacist access to NIP needed nationwide
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) strongly refutes claims in mainstream media this week that pharmacists have been delivering ‘weaker’ flu jabs to patients.
PSA National President, Associate Professor Chris Freeman, stated that these claims are not only false, but may be dangerous and are designed to undermine a safe and trusted vaccine.
“Media claims are simply incorrect. There is no ‘weaker’ vaccine. At a time when we are dealing with significant issues about vaccine hesitancy, political point scoring and clickbait will only undermine our public health initiatives.”
Associate Professor Freeman went on to say that an inability for pharmacists in some jurisdictions, to access certain vaccinations under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) is the real problem.
“Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare providers, yet in some states and territories, they cannot provide their patients with NIP-funded vaccines which are recommended for them. This is an incredibly frustrating experience for both patients and pharmacists.”
“PSA has long advocated for national uniformity in allowing authorised pharmacist immunisers to access NIP-funded vaccines. At present, NIP-funded influenza vaccines can be administered by authorised pharmacists in the ACT, Victoria and Western Australia under certain conditions, with NSW the latest jurisdiction to approve this from the 2022 influenza season and has the backing of both political parties in Tasmania.”
“Pharmacists have become a normal part of the vaccination workforce. It is time to align the funding and regulation of pharmacist-administered vaccination with that of all other authorised immunisers.”
“There is no reasonable argument to deny patients who want to access NIP-listed vaccinations at their pharmacy that they are entitled to and need.”
“When it comes to government-funded influenza vaccines, pharmacists are well aware of their obligation to inform and refer people who are eligible to their GP, including those aged 65 years and over.”
Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463