Give pharmacies access to NIP flu vax: Guild.
Pharmacists across Australia should be given access to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) influenza vaccines, to boost uptake ahead of the flu season, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia believes.
The call came after Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, urged the public to speak to their GP, pharmacist or aged care provider to arrange a flu vaccination.
Hunt said flu vaccination would be critical in protecting Australians from the virus, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding the Government had invested more than $80 million to provide free vaccines under the NIP.
Welcoming the Minister’s advice for patients to speak to their pharmacist, Tambassis, said the Guild wanted pharmacists across the country to be able to provide NIP-funded vaccines to patients.
Currently, pharmacists in Western Australia and the ACT have access to the NIP on a trial basis, while pharmacists in Victoria are also eligible to administer vaccines under the program.
“The fact that pharmacists are most accessible of all health professionals is why governments across Australia quickly realised the value of having trained pharmacists authorised to vaccinate,” he said.
“This has translated into huge numbers of people being vaccinated and while last year was a bad flu season, there is no doubt it would have been a lot worse if pharmacies were not on hand to help people protect themselves from the disease.”
See tomorrow’s edition of Pharmacy Daily for more.