More jabs: Pharmacists want to administer a wider range of vaccinations

Here to help: Dubbo pharmacist Ray Masters said pharmacists should be able to administer a wider range of vaccinations. Photo: Belinda Soole.
Here to help: Dubbo pharmacist Ray Masters said pharmacists should be able to administer a wider range of vaccinations. Photo: Belinda Soole.

Dubbo pharmacist Ray Masters has called for the state government to allow pharmacists to administer common vaccinations that are currently only given by doctors.

The nationwide poll by YouGov Galaxy found that 64 per cent of Australians support pharmacists administering common vaccines, with greater convenience cited as a benefit by 62 per cent of respondents.

Mr Masters backs the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) who are lobbying for legislative changes at state and territory levels.

“Pharmacists are highly accessible and ideally placed to take on increased responsibility for vaccination,” PSA President Dr Shane Jackson said.

Mr Masters said legislation should allow for vaccines against whooping cough and meningococcal disease, as well as routine travel vaccinations, to be administered by a local pharmacist in the same manner as the flu vaccination is now, without the need for a doctor’s visit or prescription.

“The first year we did the flu shot it went well, but this year, in particular, we have had a three-fold increase in people coming in for the flu vaccination,” he said.

“With the local pharmacist being so accessible it is common sense to allow us to provide more than just the flu vaccine.

“The benefit to the community, just like the flu shot, is that the more people that get immunised, the better it is for everyone.”

Analysis produced for the PSA reveals that since April this year, approximately a quarter of a million Australians have received flu vaccination directly from a pharmacy.

Mr Masters said other state government’s like Tasmania had recently acted to make the meningococcal vaccine available directly from pharmacists.

“This model should now set the vaccination benchmark for NSW to follow because it takes the pressure off the rest of the health care system and makes the best use of pharmacists in the community,” he said.

The Daily Liberal attempted to get a comment from Health Minister Brad Hazzard but was unsuccessful.

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