Chemists take on vaccine role

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
TerryWhite Chemmart Bunbury Plaza pharmacist Deep Rosha briefs pharmacy assistant Megan Watts on the new vaccines now able to be administered at pharmacies.
Camera IconTerryWhite Chemmart Bunbury Plaza pharmacist Deep Rosha briefs pharmacy assistant Megan Watts on the new vaccines now able to be administered at pharmacies. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

Bunbury pharmacists have welcomed changes which allow them to administer a bigger range of vaccines in store.

As of August 1, pharmacists can now vaccinate people for illnesses such as whooping cough, measles and meningococcal disease at their local pharmacy.

It is hoped the new legislation will increase vaccine rates.

TerryWhite Chemmart Bunbury Plaza will be one of the city’s pharmacies to offer the additional vaccines.

Pharmacist Deep Rosha said the store was completing training to administer the vaccines and expected to be able to do so within the week.

Mr Rosha said the initiative was a positive step, especially given the Bunbury pharmacy alone had already provided more than 650 immunisations in store this year.

“It’s definitely a positive, it will make more people have those vaccines, especially with the recent outbreaks,” Mr Rosha said.

“It’s convenient, especially for a lot of grandparents – they can just come in and get it done.”

He said it would also relieve some of the burden on local GPs.

“It will free up their time to do more critical things,” he said.

Under the changes approved by the Department of Health, pharmacists can now administer the additional low-risk vaccines to people over the age of 16.

Other vaccines include mumps, rubella and tetanus.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the changes brought Western Australia into line with the other States and would ensure more people were protected.

“All other Australian States and territories have extended the range of vaccines available via pharmacy without a prescription,” Mr Cook said.

“Everyone should be fully immunised against these potentially deadly illnesses and allowing pharmacists to issue these vaccines will ensure more Western Australians are protected.

“If you are an adult relative, such as a grandparent, who will be coming into contact with a new baby, you can now get a booster shot for whooping cough from your local pharmacist.

“It will protect your grandchild from a potentially fatal disease.”

Wizard Pharmacy Bunbury Central and Friendlies Bunbury on Spencer Street are among the pharmacies administering the vaccines while Bunbury Drive-In Chemist is completing training.

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