Pharmacists In WA Can Now Give Vaccinations

By Sophie Blackshaw
Wednesday, 17 December, 2014

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed the Western Australian Government's decision to allow pharmacists to administer influenza vaccine without prescription in accordance with the pharmacist vaccination code.

The WA Government said that changes undertaken to the WA Poisons regulations are allowing the pharmacist-delivered vaccinations.

Under the new system, pharmacists authorised to administer influenza vaccines in accordance with the Poisons Regulation 1965 are to be:

·        registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) without any registration conditions of relevance to safe vaccination;

·        have successfully completed a training program accredited by the Department of Health for the purpose of supporting pharmacist administration of vaccines;

·        hold appropriate professional indemnity insurance for vaccination; and

·        hold a current Australian recognised qualification in first aid which includes CPR and anaphylaxis management.

President of the WA Branch of PSA, Teresa Di Franco, said having pharmacists deliver vaccinations was a positive step forward in ensuring more Australians are immunised.

“The National Immunisation Strategy encourages a greater focus on health rather than illness as well as contributing to a better preventive health system in Australia,” Ms Di Franco said.

“Its aim is to prevent disease by maximising immunisation coverage in people of all ages and having pharmacists deliver vaccinations is a major step in achieving this goal.

“Research shows that providing the community access to pharmacist-delivered vaccinations greatly expands the number of people who are immunised and captures a cohort who previously have not been immunised.

“This is a positive result which will have very beneficial health outcomes for the community.”

Ms Di Franco said PSA’s nationally accredited immunisation training program would ensure pharmacists completing the course had the highest possible skills.

“The PSA training program, accredited with the Australian Skills Quality Authority, has been successfully used in the Queensland pilot and was modelled on, and adapted from, pharmacist-specific training used overseas and locally by a total of more than 150,000 pharmacists,” Ms Di Franco said.

“PSA will be seeking accreditation for our training program with the WA Department of Health and we look forward to working with the Government and health stakeholders to implement this service throughout the State.”

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