First pharmacist-delivered vaccination provided in Victoria

21 June, 2016

The first pharmacist-administered vaccination in Victoria has been welcomed as an important public health boost by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

In a healthcare milestone, the first patient in Victoria was vaccinated for pertussis today by PSA Victorian Branch President Ben Marchant at Spiro Koutsis Pharmacy in Melbourne, supported by the Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy and senior health officials.

New regulations in Victoria allow pharmacists to administer influenza and pertussis-containing vaccines to adults at approved pharmacies, including those who qualify for the National Immunisation program and the Victorian Government Parent's Whooping Cough Vaccination program.

During the vaccination, attended by Victorian pharmacy and healthcare leaders, Marchant applauded the Victorian Government's support to enable pharmacist-delivered vaccinations to provide important healthcare benefits to local communities across the State.

"Pharmacist-delivered immunisation is an effective public health service and helps vaccinate members of the community, including those with chronic conditions, who previously would not have been vaccinated," Marchant said.

"Pharmacists can now play an important role in promoting vaccination and reducing the impact of vaccine-preventable disease in the community."

Pharmacists administering vaccinations in Victoria must undergo an accredited training program to ensure they have the knowledge, understanding and skills to deliver vaccines and identify and treat any possible side-effects.

"PSA is delighted to support the profession by offering an extensive training program to equip pharmacists in immunisation as a major public health boost," Marchant said.

PSA acknowledged and sincerely thanked the Victorian Government, Health Minister, Chief Health Officer, Department of Health, the allied health workforce and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia for helping to bring this project to fruition.

On a national level, pharmacist-delivered vaccinations are now approved in SA, Queensland, Victoria, ACT, NSW, WA and Tasmania. The Northern Territory is still finalising regulations to deliver pharmacist immunisations, which are currently occurring through a pilot program.

PSA has trained more than 1850 pharmacists around the country, according to the latest statistics, to meet growing demand in the wake of legislative changes in several States, enabling pharmacists to deliver high-quality immunisation services in pharmacies.