Nationally consistent approach to pharmacist administered vaccinations will improve access for all Australians

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council’s decision to establish a working group to consider a nationally consistent approach to pharmacist administered vaccinations.

 

PSA President Dr Shane Jackson said, “We applaud the Health Council’s initiative to build on the success of pharmacist vaccinations.

 

“Research has shown internationally and locally that pharmacists are considered highly accessible and they can boost vaccination rates, contributing to a reduced burden on our already over-burdened healthcare system.”

 

A national approach to pharmacist administered vaccination will reduce confusion, ensure better access for patients to quality vaccination services and utilise the pharmacy workforce appropriately.

 

“Regulation of pharmacist immunisers varies from state to state. It doesn’t make sense that pharmacists can only vaccinate for meningococcal disease in Tasmania and pertussis in some states such as South Australia, Victoria and Queensland.”

 

Pharmacists have provided vaccinations since 2014, and across all states and territories since 2016, leading to increased vaccination rates, including many people being vaccinated for the first time. Independent research commissioned by PSA has revealed almost two-in-three Australians believe pharmacists should be able to administer a broader range of vaccinations.

 

PSA has consistently called for:

 

  • equitable access for consumers to a wider range of pharmacist administered vaccines across all States and Territories;
  • consistent regulation of pharmacist immunisers across all States and Territories;
  • increased consumer access to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for all vaccines permitted to be administered by pharmacist immunisers in all States and Territories;
  • enhanced recognition of the role of pharmacist immunisers and the evidence-based benefits they provide to consumers, the health system, and to public health; and,
  • incorporation of pharmacist immunisers in Commonwealth and State/Territory immunisation campaigns, particularly the annual influenza immunisation campaign.

 

COAG Health Council has tasked the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee to establish a working group which will consider and recommend options for a nationally consistent approach for pharmacist administered vaccinations.

 

“We look forward to working with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee on this muchneeded initiative,” Dr Jackson said.

 

Media contact:

Jarryd Luke, Senior Communications Officer

0487 922 176