Pharmacist Michael Troy has been a prime mover in getting the government to change the vaccination rules.
Pharmacist Michael Troy has been a prime mover in getting the government to change the vaccination rules. Ebony Stansfield

Rules relaxed to allow pharmacies to give access to jabs

OBTAINING vaccinations for most common diseases is about to become easier and cheaper for NSW residents and the reason can be slated home to South Grafton pharmacist Michael Troy.

Mr Troy has campaigned to have the rules around administering vaccines changed so pharmacies can give people their jabs, without the need to see a doctor.

The NSW Government has finally agreed to significantly expand the scope of pharmacist-led vaccinations, according to Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis.

"Michael got in touch with me and put a strong case for qualified pharmacists to be able to administer vaccinations not just for flu but also include diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis shots and measles, mumps, rubella," Mr Gulaptis said.

"The Government has listened to pharmacists like Michael, it has taken their advice and as a result the change will occur at the beginning of 2019.

"This isn't just good for pharmacies and more convenient for locals, it will also reduce congestion at our often overcrowded local GP surgeries," he said.

Welcoming the announcement, Mr Troy said expanding access to immunisation without the need to go to a GP for a script, back to the pharmacy for dispensing and back to the GP for administration is a positive step forward.

"It will be a one-step process allowing people to walk into their local pharmacist like they do for a flu shot and have other life-saving vaccinations administered," he said.

"It should be just a 15-minute visit to the pharmacy. People can see a sign advertising the service and go in and be vaccinated.

"It's going to be a real benefit for public health because it doesn't place obstacles between the public and becoming vaccinated."

Mr Troy said training to administer vaccinations was just a two-day course.

"It will be relatively easy and inexpensive for pharmacies to get staff up to speed with the new legislation," he said.

In 2018-19, the NSW Government will spend a record $22.75million on state-wide immunisation programs.

People eligible for free government-funded vaccines, including children under five, Aboriginal people, those with chronic illnesses, pregnant women and people over 65 will still need to get those at their GP, so they can receive a health assessment at the same time.