Australians endorse pharmacist vaccinations
August 14, 2018
Almost two-in-three Australians believe pharmacists should be able to administer common vaccinations that are currently only administered by doctors, according to new research released by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
The nationwide poll by YouGov Galaxy found that 64 per cent of Australians support pharmacists administering common vaccines, with greater convenience cited as a benefit by 62 per cent of respondents.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) says that legislative changes at the state and territory levels would allow for vaccines against the likes of whooping cough and meningococcal disease, as well as routine travel vaccinations, to be administered by a pharmacist in the same manner as flu vaccination is now accessed without the need for a doctor’s visit or prescription.
PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said, “Pharmacists are highly accessible and ideally placed to take on increased responsibility for vaccination.”
Analysis produced for the PSA reveals that since April this year, approximately a quarter of a million Australians have received flu vaccination directly from a pharmacy.
“That’s almost 100 flu vaccinations occurring every hour in pharmacies across the country. Clearly, this represents a better protected and subsequently healthier Australia and is evidence enough that enhanced access to vaccination results in strong uptake,” he added.
Dr Jackson said that the Tasmanian Government had recently acted to make the meningococcal vaccine available for administration directly from pharmacists and that “this model should now set the vaccination benchmark for other states and territories to follow.”
“Our new research confirms that Australians clearly understand that pharmacists have the skill and training to do more than they currently do. Common-sense should see legislative changes that allow pharmacists to administer a number of commonly used vaccines.”
The poll of 1,023 Australians also revealed that 60 per cent of Australians believe the cost of a pharmacist administering a vaccine should be covered by Medicare, with a further 24 per cent of the view that private health insurance should cover some of the cost.
The PSA is working with federal, state and territory governments and other health stakeholders to ensure the expertise of professional pharmacists is more fully utilised and that pharmacists are better equipped to enhance community access to vital health services.
Senior Communications Officer
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