Residents in NSW as young as 16 will soon be able to visit their local pharmacist to get vaccinated against such infectious diseases as measles, whooping cough and tetanus, all without having had to consult a doctor.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced plans to expand the state’s pharmacist vaccination program beyond the flu shot to help ease access to immunisation.
From next year, pharmacists will be able to administer privately funded diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (dTpa) vaccine; the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) plus the flu vaccine after they have undertaken an approved comprehensive training course.
And in another change, the age of eligibility for patients will then drop to just 16 years.
At the moment, pharmacists can only offer seasonal flu vaccines to people aged 18 and over.
This move sees the state move closer to Queensland and Victoria, who have expanded the range of vaccines pharmacists can administer.
Mr Barilaro said:
“People tell us access to a GP can be difficult at times whether you live in the city, country or on the coast, so expanding pharmacy vaccinations gives people more choice,”
Mr Hazzard said:
“Australia has wiped out measles and the only reported cases are from unvaccinated people who acquire it overseas and then infect others locally,”