Legislation change means pharmacies can vaccinate from January 2019

Pharmacist in Charge, Tracey Edwards in one of the three clinic rooms at Flannery's Pharmarcy.

Pharmacist in Charge, Tracey Edwards in one of the three clinic rooms at Flannery's Pharmarcy.

NSW pharmacists will soon be able to give vaccines for more than just influenza shots thanks to new legislation due to come into effect in NSW from January 2019. This will allow pharmacists to give vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (dTpa).

Pharmacist Tracey Edwards said this will bring NSW in line with Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory in terms of the types of vaccines available to patients through community pharmacy.

Another change which will come into effect is that pharmacists will be able to vaccinate patients over 16.

Ms Edwards she is enthusiastic about what these legislative changes will mean for the Forbes community.

Pharmacists will have to undergo a small amount of further training before they can start administering the additional vaccines. Our pharmacists in Forbes already have experience in the provision of the influenza vaccine with successful immunisation clinics run in the past few years.

“Our pharmacists are always pursuing further professional training to ensure the highest quality of service provision and our regular contact with patients allows for early intervention and referral to other members of the healthcare team when issues are identified,” Mrs Edwards said.

“We have already seen pharmacist immunisations contributing to higher influenza vaccination rates in 2018, with significantly fewer deaths and hospitalisations attributed to these higher rates and less virulent strains in circulation.

“Our primary focus is on improving the health of the community.”

President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia NSW branch, David Heffernan, said patients will benefit from of being able to obtain vaccination services from trained local pharmacists. 

“The inclusion of the whooping cough vaccine is especially beneficial for grandparents, carers of young children and partners of pregnant women, ahead of having contact with newborn infants.”

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia NSW State Manager Simone Diamandis told Australian Pharmacist that public attention typically focuses on improving vaccination rates in infants and children under 12, yet the largest unvaccinated group of people recommended to be immunised are adults.

Ms Diamandis said that allowing pharmacists to administer vaccinations could improve the situation.