Canberrans will be able to receive the whooping cough vaccine from their local pharmacist under new rules announced last week.
The ACT Pharmacist Vaccination Standards were amended to enable appropriately trained pharmacists to administer the diptheria, tetanus, a cellular pertussis (dTpa) vaccine to adults without a prescription.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Meegan Fitzharris said allowing pharmacists to give the whooping cough vaccine was an important initiative that will help prevent the spread of the dangerous bacterial infection.
“This announcement further highlights the importance of ACT pharmacists in providing essential community health services for Canberrans,” Minister Fitzharris said.
“I’m pleased to see their contribution to Canberrans health grow by helping to protect Canberrans against vaccine preventable illnesses, such as whooping cough.”
“The amendments will see the ACT join Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory in enabling pharmacists to vaccinate people against whooping cough and influenza as public health initiatives.”
ACT pharmacists must comply with additional training, administration and record keeping requirements as set out by the Chief Health Officer before they provide vaccination services.
Pharmacists are not currently permitted to provide vaccinations to people aged less than 18 years or pregnant women.
This public health initiative builds on the ACT Government’s Antenatal Pertussis Vaccination Program, which covers the cost of the whooping cough vaccine for pregnant women in their third trimester.
“Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory illness that poses a serious risk to young children and immune-compromised people,” Minister Fitzharris said.
“Improving consumer access to vaccines and vaccination services helps to improve health outcomes across our community.”