Calls for removal of barriers to pharmacist administered vaccinations in Queensland

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has called on the Queensland Government to allow pharmacists to provider a wider range of vaccination services to Queenslanders in more health settings.

PSA Queensland President, Shane MacDonald and State Manager, Nicole Floyd havemet with the Hon Yvette D’Ath MP, Minister for Health and Ambulances Services to advocate for the removal of the regulatory barriers preventing pharmacists providing more vaccinations services to Queenslanders.

“Pharmacists have been administering vaccines in Queensland since 2014. We are an important part of the immunising workforce.,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Our vaccination authorisation in Queensland has fallen behind other states and territories, which impacts the accessibility of preventative healthcare for Queenslanders.

“The Queensland Government needs to urgently improve the legislative authority, allowing pharmacists to administer more vaccines to more patients.

“Although new vaccines are included in the North Queensland Scope of Practice Pilot, PSA believes that pharmacists have already proven themselves as quality and safe vaccinators and all of Queensland deserves immediate access to these vaccines.

“It makes no sense that a patient in QLD cannot access a vaccine for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) from their local pharmacist, but a patient in ACT, NSW, Victoria, and Western Australia can. The same can be said for Herpes Zoster and Hepatitis B vaccines.

“Frankly the differences in authorities across jurisdictions is confusing for patients and confusing for the workforce (especially locums). If all vaccines were authorised in QLD, pharmacists could support catch-up strategies and reduce missed opportunities for vaccinations due to their unique accessibility. This is particularly important post COVID-19 due to the disruption in access to health services during the pandemic.

PSA has also called on the Queensland Government to allow community pharmacists to administer vaccines in outreach programs (such as schools, aged care, and workplaces), as well as pharmacists working in general practice, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and aged care. The current authorisation for these settings is only temporary and expires on the 29th of April 2023.

“The location where the vaccine is administered does not alter the competency and skill of the pharmacist. We need qualified pharmacists to be able to administer vaccines wherever there is a patient need,” Mr MacDonald concluded.

/Public Release.