Queensland is continuing to lead the nation on vaccination policy, with Health Minister the Hon. Shannon Fentiman MP announcing expanded vaccination scope for Queensland pharmacists from 30 October 2023.
The new Extended Practice Authority (EPA) will allow pharmacists to vaccinate Queenslanders aged 2 years and older and will also authorise pharmacists to deliver vaccinations in more settings, including general practices, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health services, and aged care facilities.
The new EPA will also enable pharmacists to deliver a wider range of vaccines including:
- Hepatitis B
- Varicella (chickenpox)
- Meningococcal B
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Typhoid fever
- Zoster (herpes zoster), and
- Japanese encephalitis.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Queensland President Shane MacDonald MPS welcomed the move and the Queensland Government’s ongoing commitment to improving access to health services.
“Allowing more people to be vaccinated by their local pharmacist is a vital step in not only protecting individual Queenslanders but the entire community,” Mr MacDonald said.
“PSA has strongly advocated for pharmacists across all health settings to be able to deliver more vaccines to patients of all ages. This is a great step toward pharmacists practising to our full potential to support the health of our communities.
“On behalf of pharmacists I thank Minister Fentiman for her commitment to improving health care and ensuring that vaccinations are accessible to all Queenslanders.
“PSA also supports the authorisation of pharmacists to administer prescribed medicines in the new EPA. This is a common sense, consumer centric approach which will support patients experiencing issues with administering their own medications or accessing a health professional to administer.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the Minister and the Queensland Government to promote these new services to the community and to continue to ensure that pharmacists can practise to our top of scope and best support the health of our state,” Mr MacDonald concluded.
PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS said it was vital for regulations around vaccination to be consistent across all states and territories.
“At the moment, every jurisdiction in Australia has different regulations around which vaccinations can be administered by pharmacists.
“Australians should be able to access the same level of health care regardless of where they live. A nationally consistent schedule of pharmacist-administered vaccinations is key to achieve equitable access to government-funded vaccines by all Australians.
“Our health system needs all trained immunisers to play a role in delivering vaccines. We need qualified pharmacists to be able to administer vaccines wherever there is a patient need.
“I urge all states and territories to follow Queensland’s lead and allow all pharmacist immunisers, regardless of practice setting, to administer more vaccines to more Australians.”