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Which vaccines can I get from my community pharmacist?

Under NSW regulation and authorisation, NSW pharmacists who have undertaken appropriate training are able to administer privately funded diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (whooping cough) (dTpa), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and influenza vaccines to people aged 16 years and over.

How can I find a pharmacy in my area that provides vaccination?

Follow the link on the Pharmacy Guild of Australia website to find a pharmacy that provides vaccination.  
 

Why are pharmacists allowed to administer more vaccines?

Before 1 January 2019, NSW pharmacists could only administer the influenza vaccine to individuals aged 18 years and over. Changes to regulations have expanded the vaccines available from community pharmacists. The changes make whooping cough, measles and influenza vaccines more readily available to people aged 16 years and over. This will be beneficial in areas where access to a GP may be limited. Grandparents and carers of young children and partners of pregnant women will also benefit with having access to the whooping cough vaccine before having contact with a newborn infant. Although the MMR vaccine is free for susceptible young adults from GPs, making the vaccine more readily available will benefit those who do not routinely attend a GP. This may increase vaccine uptake particularly in those about to embark on overseas travel to a country where measles outbreaks are common.

Can all pharmacists administer vaccines?

No. Only pharmacists that have undertaken an approved course and whose practice meets the new NSW Pharmacy Vaccination Standards are authorised to administer the specified vaccines to people 16 years and over.

Can I get all vaccines from a pharmacist?

No. Pharmacists can only administer vaccines that are specified in the NSW regulation. These include adult vaccines that are privately purchased for:

  • Influenza
  • Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (dTpa)
  • Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)

Who should receive diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (dTpa)?

The dTpa (diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough) vaccine is recommended for anyone who wishes to protect themselves against these diseases. Booster doses should be received every 10 years. It is particularly important for healthcare workers and anyone who will be having contact with newborn babies to ensure that they receive the booster vaccine against whooping cough. This includes partners of pregnant women, grandparents, extended family and friends. Women should have a whooping cough vaccine during each pregnancy, ideally at 28-32 weeks gestation but it can be received any time in the third trimester. This vaccine is free for pregnant women from their GP or maternity service.

Who should receive measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)?

Anyone born during or since 1966 that does not have documentation of two doses of measles vaccine is recommended to receive this vaccine, particularly young adult travellers who may be visiting countries where measles continues to circulate, such as most countries in Asia and many in Europe.

Is it safe to be vaccinated by a pharmacist?

Yes. Pharmacists are required to complete a comprehensive training program which includes conducting a pre-vaccination assessment and management of any adverse event that may occur after vaccination. Pharmacists in NSW have been safely administering influenza vaccines since 2015 and no safety concerns have been identified.

Can a 16 year old consent to vaccination?

Yes. However the pharmacist can only administer the vaccine if they are certain that the person understands what they are consenting to. The pharmacist must perform a pre-vaccination assessment before administering any vaccine.

Why can’t I get my child vaccinated at the pharmacy?

Vaccinating children can be more complex than adults and they often require a number of vaccines at the same time. Most vaccines that are required by children are available for free through either a state funded program or the National Immunisation Program. These free vaccines are available from GPs, some council or Community Health clinics, and Aboriginal Medical Services. When receiving these vaccines your child will also likely receive medical assessment appropriate to their developmental milestones.

Is it my responsibility to tell my GP that I have received a vaccine from a pharmacist?

No. Authorised pharmacists are required to report all vaccinations given to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). The AIR is a national register that records vaccines given to all people of all ages and information in the Register is accessible by authorised health professionals such as GPs, nurse immunisers and authorised pharmacists, as well as by individuals for their own records and those of their children.

How much will it cost to get vaccinated at a pharmacy?

The cost of each vaccine varies based on vaccine type and brand. There may also be a service charge applied by the pharmacist. You should discuss the cost of vaccination with the pharmacist prior to consenting to have the vaccine.

Why are the vaccinations not free?

Vaccinations that are funded by NSW Health or the National Immunisation Program are generally available for the most vulnerable and at risk individuals within the population including those with medical conditions. These funded vaccines are available for free from GPs, some council or Community Health clinics, and Aboriginal Medical Services. Individuals receiving these vaccines will usually receive a health assessment at the same visit.

How will my GP have a record of any vaccinations I receive at a pharmacy?

Your GP will be able to look up your vaccination record via the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). The AIR is a national register that records vaccines given to all people of all ages and information in the Register is accessible by authorised health professionals such as GPs, nurse immunisers and authorised pharmacists, as well as by individuals for their own records and those of their children.

Why can’t pharmacists give all vaccinations?

Pharmacists can only administer vaccines that are specified in the NSW regulation, and for which they have received specific training. This includes adult vaccines that are privately purchased for:

  • Influenza
  • Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (dTpa)
  • Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR).
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Page Updated: Monday 13 May 2019
Contact page owner: Immunisation