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Labor reveals vaccine plans

Monday, 2nd February, 2015

NSW Labor says it will allow pharmacists to give out flu vaccinations if voted into power during this year’s election.

Opposition leader Luke Foley announced that the policy would improve general health in the community, reduce doctor visits and hospital admissions and assist the economy.

Under Labor’s policy, trained pharmacists would be allowed to deliver influenza vaccinations to healthy people aged between 18 and 65 for a standard charge. 

The vaccine is generally considered to be up to 90 per cent effective in preventing influenza illness for six to 12 months in healthy adults.

Currently in NSW, flu immunisations can only be administered by doctors and nurses. 

Mr Foley called the initiative a “new approach” whilst making the announcement at the weekend at a Sydney pharmacy.

“It is a practical and sensible approach to reducing health costs and protecting the community. 

“Overseas studies have found that pharmacist provided vaccinations were effective in targeting men who did not usually take the preventative measure.

Lat year NSW Health reported 15,700 cases of influenza strain A and 2,500 cases of influenza strain B. 

Nationally, influenza accounts for 18,404 hospitalisations and up to 3457 deaths a year ñ and tackling the disease costs the Australian health system $115 million.

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