Pharmacists in Queensland will be able to protect more Queenslanders against vaccine-preventable diseases, including those that are recommended prior to travel, in a move welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
Trained pharmacists in Queensland will be able to administer cholera, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (dTpa); diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and poliomyelitis (dTpa-IPV); Haemophilus influenza type B; hepatitis A; meningococcal ACWY; poliomyelitis; and measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccines to people aged 16 years and above.
In addition, trained pharmacists will be able to administer the influenza vaccination to people aged 10 years and above.
PSA Queensland President Chris Campbell welcomed the announcement from Queensland Health Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young to expand pharmacist-administered vaccinations services in Queensland, and in particular to lower the minimum vaccination age from 16 years to 10 years for influenza vaccinations in readiness for the 2020 influenza season.
“This is particularly important given Queensland had a record breaking flu season in 2019 with more than 68,000 cases[i]‘ Mr Campbell said. “Most Australians visit their pharmacist around 14 times a year. This high level of accessibility, combined with the trust consumers have in the profession, will encourage more people to get immunised.”
Mr Campbell commended the government’s decision to allow pharmacists to protect more Queenslanders from influenza and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
“Less than 40% of at-risk adults are considered to be fully vaccinated,[ii] and allowing trained pharmacists to administer more vaccines and to a wider cohort will significantly increase immunisation rates within the community,” he said.
“The administration of vaccines by pharmacists complements the excellent work done by GPs, nurses, Indigenous Health Workers and other immunisers. It increases immunisation rates and has a positive effect on the health of Queenslanders.
“As the peak national body for pharmacists, PSA has advocated for many years, including most recently in PSA’s Queensland pre-budget submission, to allow pharmacists to deliver more vaccinations to a wider age range of patients and for provision of pharmacist access to NIP stock. We will continue to work closely with the Queensland Government to achieve this.”
Pharmacists in Queensland have been instrumental in progressing pharmacist-administered vaccination services in Australia through the Queensland Pharmacists Immunisation Pilot (QPIP) in 2014.
PSA commends the Queensland Government and Queensland Health for continuing to progress the recommendations of the recent Pharmacy Inquiry by making use of pharmacists’ expertise and training to better protect the community against vaccine-preventable diseases through expansion of pharmacist-administered vaccinations.