Vaccination funding should be consistent: Sim

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes news that payments for pharmacist administration of COVID-19 vaccinations will be increased from tomorrow (1 February 2024) but urges similar increases across the National Immunisation Program Vaccinations in Pharmacy program.

The Pharmacy Programs Administrator (PPA) has confirmed that the new fee for COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Payments for all doses will be raised to $30.65. The Vaccination Incentive – Site Visit fee will not increase.

​PSA National President A/Prof Fei Sim FPS said that increases should also apply to payments for NIPVIP vaccines.

​“While I welcome increases in pharmacist remuneration for administering vital COVID-19 vaccines, it further highlights the growing inequality in funding for other vaccines delivered by pharmacists,” A/Prof Sim said.

​“This change recognises the costs involved in delivering vaccination services, and it should be applied to all vaccines expected to be delivered by pharmacists. All vaccination services, regardless of whether under the COVID-19 Vaccination in Community Pharmacy Program or the National Immunisation Program Vaccinations in Pharmacy program, should be remunerated at the same rate.

​This should include commitment to indexing of fees to keep pace with CPI, inclusion of rural loading, after hours incentives and incentives for reaching at risk and priority populations. The NIPVIP program should also support outreach services so pharmacists can support people wherever they live, including in aged care and disability facilities

​“Adequate pharmacist remuneration is critical to ensuring that these essential services delivered by pharmacists can be delivered sustainably, which ultimately protects and maintains equitable access to vaccination services for all Australians.”

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