Expanded vaccination access for WA residents
22 November 2022
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes today’s announcement from the West Australian Government that patients will soon have expanded access to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) through their local pharmacist.
From 22 November 2022, patients over 11 years of age will be able to access dTpa and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations, and patients over 15 years of age will be able to access Meningococcal ACWY vaccinations, and patients over 16 years of age will be able to access Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccinations, all from their local pharmacist.
WA PSA State President Lusi Sheehan says that the move will make vaccinations more accessible to more West Australians.
“Allowing more patients to be vaccinated by their local pharmacist is a vital step in ensuring accessible healthcare for all West Australians,” Ms Sheehan said.
“Pharmacists are trained and experienced immunisers, having delivered more than 9 million COVID-19 vaccines administered by community pharmacists.
“It’s fantastic to see that WA remains the home of one of the most progressive pharmacist-administered vaccination programs in Australia, an important vote of confidence in our pharmacist workforce.
“PSA has been calling on governments around Australia to allow us to play a greater role in community health and a large part of that is expanding funded vaccinations in community pharmacies.
“We’re looking forward to working with the WA Government to ensure that pharmacists are empowered to practice to their full potential.”
PSA National President Dr Fei Sim said it was vital for regulations around vaccination to be consistent across all states and territories.
“At the moment, every jurisdiction in Australia has different regulations around which vaccinations can be administered by pharmacists.
“COVID-19 related school closures, absenteeism and work from home orders have all impacted community vaccination rates as scheduled vaccination outreach in schools and workplaces have been disrupted. On top of this, GP shortages have also impacted the accessibility of vital vaccinations. The result is patients falling through the cracks, putting our communities at risk from preventable infectious diseases.
“Australians should be able to access the same level of health care regardless of where they live. A nationally consistent schedule of pharmacist-administered vaccinations is key to achieve equitable access to government-funded vaccines by all Australians.
“Allowing pharmacists around Australia to deliver all vaccinations to all ages, they’re sending an important message to the public about the importance of vaccination.
“This is an opportunity for governments around Australia to show significant leadership and to encourage vaccination uptake, particularly in young people.”
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