Injection protection urged

Pharmacy Guild Queensland Branch President Trent Twomey says allowing the state’s community pharmacists to practise vaccination to the full extent of their training could better protect children against infectious diseases, such as whooping cough.

He says the outbreak of whooping cough at a Gold Coast school last week could potentially have been avoided if Queensland pharmacists were able to vaccinate to the full extent of their training.

“Community pharmacists are highly trained health professionals and have been safely administering flu vaccinations in Queensland,” he said. “The safety, convenience and accessibility to receive a flu vaccination via a local community pharmacy has seen improved immunisation across the state.

“I urge the Queensland government to follow the lead of other jurisdictions such as Tasmania, where community pharmacists are able to vaccinate adolescents, for an increased range of disease states, from the age of 10.

“By improving accessibility and the range of vaccinations available through a trained community pharmacist, we can better protect all Queenslanders against potentially life-threatening diseases.”

Mr Twomey says the change could be introduced alongside the establishment of an independent Pharmacy Council to ensure the current system of pharmacy ownership is even more transparent and protects standards of healthcare.

“Both measures are the subject of the current parliamentary inquiry; together these changes would bring many benefits for Queenslanders and the health system that they rely on,” he said.