Pharmacists to offer more jabs to lift immunisation

Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the NSW Government has acted on a NSW Health recommendation to expand pharmacist vaccination beyond the flu jab.

“People tell us access to a GP can be difficult at times whether you live in the city, country or on the coast, so expanding pharmacy vaccinations gives people more choice,” Mr Barilaro said

“People aged 18 and over can already pay to have their flu jab at pharmacies and soon people 16 and over can do the same and get other jabs too, such as measles.”

From January 2019, pharmacists who undertake an approved course can give diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (dTpa) shots and measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), as well as flu shots.

Mr Hazzard said he hopes allowing pharmacists to give MMR and dTpa jabs will also mean more people get immunised before travelling overseas.

“Australia has wiped out measles and the only reported cases are from unvaccinated people who acquire it overseas and then infect others locally,” Mr Hazzard said.

“We hope new grandparents, carers of infants and partners of pregnant women also make use of the additional services to protect newborn babies from whooping cough.”

In 2018-19, the NSW  Government will spend a record $22.75 million on state-wide immunisation programs.

People eligible for free government-funded vaccines, including children under five, Aboriginal people, those with chronic illnesses, pregnant women and people over 65 will still need to get those at their GP, so they can receive a health assessment at the same time.

Earlier this month, Mr Hazzard obtained support from the COAG Health Council to develop options for a national approach to pharmacist vaccination standards.

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