Trained pharmacists will soon be able to give measles and whooping cough injections, making immunisation more accessible.
The NSW government has acted on a NSW Health recommendation to expand pharmacist vaccination. Access to a GP can be difficult whether you live in the city, country or on the coast, so expanding pharmacy vaccinations gives people more choice.
Those aged 18 and older can already pay to have their flu jab at pharmacies, and soon those aged 16 and older will be able to do the same and get other jabs too, such as measles. From January 2019, pharmacists who undertake an approved course can give diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (dTpa) shots, and measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), and flu shots.
This will also mean more people get immunised before travelling overseas. Australia has wiped out measles and the only reported cases are from non-vaccinated people who acquire it overseas. We hope new grandparents, carers of infants and partners of pregnant women also make use of the additional services to protect newborn babies from whooping cough.
In 2018-19, the NSW government will spend a record $22.75 million on statewide immunisation programs. People eligible for free government-funded vaccines, including children under five, Aboriginal people, those with chronic illnesses, pregnant women and people over age 65 will still need to get those at their GP so they can receive a health assessment.
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