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gets the nod
South Australia has joined Queensland, Western Australia and the
Northern Territory in allowing pharmacists to deliver vaccinations.
Last month South Australian Health
Minister Jack Snelling announced that
South Australian pharmacists would
be able to directly administer the
The move follows a successful trial in
Queensland where 11,000 people were
vaccinated over five months.
Mr Snelling said that enabling
pharmacists to administer influenza
vaccinations would help increase the
immunity of the entire community.
'Influenza is seen by many people as a
relatively harmless illness, yet it affects
thousands of South Australians each
year and can have a serious impact on
their health,' Mr Snelling said.
'The easiest way to prevent catching the
flu is to get a vaccination every year, but
many people have difficulty finding the
time to book an appointment with their
GP. Allowing pharmacists to directly
administer the flu shot will encourage a
greater uptake of the vaccine in 2015.
'Having as many people as possible
vaccinated against influenza each year
will go a long way towards creating a
healthier community and helping to
reduce the additional burden on the
In 2014 there were more than
11,000 notified cases of influenza in
South Australia, the highest number of
cases on record, surpassing even the
swine flu epidemic of 2009.
The 2015 flu vaccine is expected to
become available at the end of March.
Under the SA changes pharmacists will
be able to provide the vaccine to adults
over the age of 16 who are not already
eligible for a free flu shot as part of the
National Immunisation Program (NIP).
People who are eligible for the free
vaccine as part of the Annual Influenza
Program, including pregnant women,
people over 65 and those with
underlying health conditions, will still
need to visit their GP to receive their
PSA Queensland Branch President
Professor Lisa Nissen, who played a lead
role in the Queensland vaccination trial,
said: 'This is an excellent outcome for
pharmacists in Australia. The progress
for both SA and WA pharmacists is
testament to the good work of the
pioneers in the QPIP pilot who produced
such great results. It won't be long until
this is common practice for pharmacists
across the country and our contributions
to preventative care and public health
will be expanded.'
NHS England is considering a
pharmacy-based national minor
ailments scheme as part of its ongoing
review of urgent and emergency care.
It is looking at rolling out the scheme
to all community pharmacies in a bid
to save money and reduce pressure on
NHS England's National Medical
Director Sir Bruce Keogh told Chemist &
Druggist: 'We need to harness the skills
of pharmacists, who are highly trained
individuals and can offer very good
clinical advice for certain conditions.
In a briefing document Sir Bruce said a
national scheme would shift patients
from GP practices to pharmacies,
creating efficiencies because of
pharmacies' lower unit costs.
He suggested rolling out a national
minor ailments scheme as part of
the commissioning body's urgent
and emergency care review, which it
launched last year to create a
sustainable urgent care system.
The document outlined aspirations
for a greater role for pharmacists, who
could potentially work close to or even
in accident and emergency (A and E)
It also proposes a national pilot to place
pharmacists in emergency departments.
This would build on work in the
West Midlands where pharmacy triage,
advanced clinical pharmacy training and
enhanced independent prescribing had
The pilot, due to start in the first half of
this year, will assess whether placing
pharmacists in A and E departments
could improve the safety, experience
and safe discharge of patients
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