In the ACT, pharmacists that meet specific criteria can provide certain vaccinations to patients. Pharmacist vaccinations are aimed at complementing existing immunisation services and improving public access to immunisation in the ACT.
Under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008, pharmacists are authorised to administer certain vaccines without a prescription.
This authorisation is subject to training, premises, reporting and record keeping requirements as set out by the Chief Health Officer in the ACT Pharmacist Vaccination Standards (the Vaccination Standards).
An authorised pharmacist may vaccinate people against influenza, pertussis (whooping cough) and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) in the ACT provided they comply with the Vaccination Standards. All pharmacists must complete specific training before they can offer vaccination services.
From 7 April 2020, changes have been made to the Vaccination Standards to allow trained pharmacists to:
- administer eligible vaccines to pregnant women,
- administer the influenza vaccine to patients aged 10 years or over, and
- administer the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.
The changes have been made to improve access to vaccinations in the community and recognise the important role that pharmacists play in the health system.
Improving access to the influenza vaccine for families will assist to prepare for the 2020 influenza season. This is especially important during the COVID-19 outbreak to reduce public health risks and pressures on the health system.
This change achieves greater consistency with most other Australian jurisdictions and takes into consideration the views of key stakeholders in the ACT.
Since 2019 the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia have included standard childhood immunisation modules in their pharmacist vaccination training and are making these modules available to pharmacists who completed their training prior to 2019. All pharmacists are encouraged to review this material before vaccinating young adolescents.
The changes do not include provision of government funded influenza vaccine to pharmacies. Provision of National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines in 2020 will be limited to trivalent influenza vaccine for people aged 65 years and over through participating pharmacies.
More information about influenza and staying healthy in winter is available on the ACT Health Winter Wellbeing webpage.
The links below provide resources for ACT pharmacies providing vaccinations: