Pharmacists help improve vaccination rates in NSW
January 2, 2019
People in NSW can get vaccinated against whooping cough and measles by visiting their local pharmacy, thanks to a move by the NSW Government welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
As of 1 January 2019, pharmacists are providing diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (dTpa) and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines, in addition to influenza vaccines, to anyone 16 years and over.
PSA NSW President Professor Peter Carroll, in welcoming the NSW Government’s announcement, said allowing accredited pharmacists to vaccinate gave people more choice about when and where to get vaccinated.
“Allowing accredited pharmacists to vaccinate against whooping cough and measles will further boost NSW’s vaccination rates by making immunisation more accessible.
“Particularly in regional and remote NSW, people may have trouble accessing a GP. In addition, some people do not visit a GP regularly, or do not have a GP. Allowing accredited pharmacists to vaccinate will increase vaccination rates and herd immunity within the community.
“I congratulate the NSW Government on this initiative which will without doubt increase vaccination rates and help to protect the people of NSW from these preventable diseases.”
PSA, the peak national body for pharmacists, has advocated for many years in collaboration with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to allow pharmacists to deliver more vaccinations.
PSA National President Dr Chris Freeman applauded the NSW Government’s initiative to build on the state’s already high vaccination rates.
“This brings NSW in line with other states such as the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria where pharmacists already provide dTpa and MMR vaccinations.”
In 2018, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council announced their decision to establish a working group to consider a nationally consistent approach to pharmacist administered vaccinations.
“A nationally consistent approach to vaccinations will improve access for all Australians,” Dr Freeman said.
“PSA is looking forward to working with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee to make full use of pharmacists’ expertise across the country so they can provide a wider range of vaccinations.”
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