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Greater access to vaccines

Saturday, 27th October, 2018

Pharmacist Jason Harvey from C.P Peoples Chemist is getting ready to vaccinate more people against more diseases next year. PICTURE: Callum Marshall Pharmacist Jason Harvey from C.P Peoples Chemist is getting ready to vaccinate more people against more diseases next year. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

Local pharmacists will soon be able to administer more types of vaccinations to the public thanks to the State Government acting on a NSW Health recommendation.

Now pharmacists can provide flu vaccinations to people but from January they’ll also be able to give other vaccine shots if they undertake an approved course. 

C.P Peoples Chemist pharmacist Jason Harvey said the extra vaccines will carry on from the good work they’ve done in helping deal with the flu. 

“Basically it’ll mean more people can have greater access to important vaccines,” Mr Harvey said.

“This year, pharmacists started doing more flu vaccinations and the cases of influenza dropped 83 per cent in Australia compared to last year. 

“It’s not totally due to pharmacists, but they probably had a fair bit to do with it.

“We’re hoping something similar can happen with these (new) injections.”

Mr Harvey said they will be able to give vaccinations - for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (dTpa), which is whooping cough.

“That last one’s a big deal because whooping cough is a very common problem in Broken Hill.” 

The other major aspect to the announcement was that pharmacists could now administer vaccines to more people. 

“They’ve also reduced the age that we can give injections. Before we could give needles or flu vaccinations to people 18 or over; now they’ve dropped that to 16.”

Many other states already allowed pharmacists to do this, Mr Harvey said, because NSW Health often lagged behind others.

“In other states this has already happened. The state is always the last one to come on board with these things.

“They are quite common already, especially in Queensland and Tasmania, and have been for a few years, so we’re just kind of catching up.”

A visit to the GP will still be required for those who are eligible for free government-funded vaccines including children under five, Aboriginal people, those with chronic illnesses, pregnant women and people over 65. This is because they need to get a health assessment at the same time. 

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