Two in three Australians believe pharmacists should be able to administer commonly used vaccines that currently require a doctor’s appointment, new PSA research shows.
The nationwide poll by YouGov Galaxy found that 64 per cent of Australians support pharmacy administration of widely used vaccines, with the ability to free up the doctor’s time and greater convenience cited as benefits by 62 per cent of respondents.
More than 200,000 Australians have received flu vaccination directly from a pharmacy since April.
‘That’s almost 100 flu vaccinations occurring every hour in pharmacies across the country. Clearly, this represents a better protected and subsequently healthier Australia and is evidence enough that enhanced access to vaccination results in strong uptake,’ said PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson.
PSA is working with federal, state and territory governments and other health stakeholders to ensure the expertise of professional pharmacists is more fully utilised and that pharmacists are better equipped to enhance community access to vital health services.
‘The Tasmanian Government had recently acted to make the meningococcal vaccine available for administration directly from pharmacies and that this model should now set the vaccination benchmark for other states and territories to follow,’ he said.
‘Our new research confirms that Australians clearly understand that pharmacists have the skill and training to do more than simply dispense medicines. Common sense should see legislative changes that allow pharmacists to administer a number of commonly used vaccines.’
PSA said legislative changes at the state and territory levels would allow for vaccines against the likes of chicken pox and meningococcal disease, as well as routine travel vaccinations, to be administered by a pharmacist in the same manner as flu vaccination is now accessed without a doctor’s visit or prescription.
The frameworks outlining pharmacy immunisation vary from state to state.
PSA provides support to immunisers with short refresher workshops, guidelines, immunisation-related CPD and transition information to support pharmacists to change jurisdictions or understand an expansion to the scope of immunisations.
These resources are available to members via the dedicated PSA Immunisation Resource Hub at www.psa.org.au/immunisation