- Trained pharmacists can now immunise against more illnesses including whooping cough, measles, and meningococcal disease
- Initiative to increase vaccine rates among Western Australians
- Brings WA in line with other Australian states and territories
As of today, Western Australians will be able to get vaccinated against illnesses such as whooping cough, measles and meningococcal disease at their local pharmacy.
Many Western Australian pharmacists are already trained to administer these additional vaccines. It is expected that the remainder will have completed the training required by October 2019 so the public should check with their local pharmacy to find out when the new service will be available.
Under changes approved by the Department of Health, pharmacists will be able to administer additional low-risk vaccines to people over the age of 16. The new vaccines that pharmacists will be able to administer:
- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR);
- Diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (whooping cough); and
- Meningococcal ACWY.
All vaccinations provided will be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register.
The move aligns WA with other Australian states and territories who already offer similar services and improves consistency in relation to pharmacy-administered vaccines across the nation.
In June this year the McGowan Government announced WA pharmacists could offer influenza vaccination for children over the age of 10 years. Pharmacists have been safely issuing the influenza vaccine to adults since 2014 and more Western Australians are being vaccinated against influenza than ever before.
Today's initiative has been driven by the Department of Health to increase immunisation rates in the community.
People most likely to benefit from the changes include:
- Any WA adult with a gap in their vaccine schedule;
- Adult relatives, such as grandparents, who will be coming into contact with babies and need a booster shot for whooping cough; and
- People wanting the meningococcal ACWY vaccine but are not eligible for the State-funded program.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"Everyone should be fully immunised against these potentially deadly illnesses and allowing pharmacists to issue these vaccines will ensure more Western Australians are protected.
"All other Australian states and territories have extended the range of vaccines available via pharmacy without a prescription.
"This simple change supplements existing immunisation programs and brings Western Australia into line with the rest of the nation, it improves national consistency in relation to pharmacist-issued vaccines.
"If you are an adult relative, such as a grandparent, who will be coming into contact with a new baby you can now get a booster shot for whooping cough from your local pharmacist. It will protect your grandchild from a potentially fatal disease.
"People should check with their local pharmacist to see when they will commence administrating these vaccines."
SOURCE: WA Health Minister's Office