The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) SA Branch welcomes the Marshall Government’s commitment to improving access to vaccines funded under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) through local pharmacies.
Yesterday, recommendations for the 2022 influenza season from the Community Pharmacy NIP Access Advisory Group were approved by the South Australian Government.
In addition to the privately-funded influenza vaccinations pharmacists currently provide to South Australians over the age of 10, they will now able to provide government-funded vaccinations to:
- People aged 65 years and older
- Pregnant women
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons aged 10 years and older
PSA SA Branch President, Robyn Johns, welcomed the move and praised the South Australian Government’s leadership on this critical issue.
“Today’s commitment from the Marshall Government to increase access NIP-funded influenza vaccines through the state’s pharmacies is a day of significant progress for South Australia’s health system.
“The South Australian Government established the Community Pharmacy NIP Access Advisory Group in June last year, and already, they’ve covered significant ground in ensuring that vulnerable population groups are best protected against the flu.
“This move means that South Australians will have a much easier time getting their flu vaccine as they can book in at their local pharmacy – like so many have done for their COVID-19 vaccines.
“Previously, pharmacists have been unable provide their patients, who fall within the cohorts, with NIP-funded flu vaccines meaning vulnerable patients were out-of-pocket or missed out on influenza vaccination altogether.
“Pharmacists are a critical part of the vaccination workforce, as evidenced through the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination program, where they have now administered over four million vaccines to Australians.
“As we prepare for this year’s flu season, allowing community pharmacist immunisers to provide NIP-funded influenza vaccines will increase vaccination rates and herd immunity to influenza within the state, preventing death and hospitalisations for those most vulnerable,” she said.