26 September 2023

Pharmacy flu jabs planned for winter

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Queensland Health is inviting selected community pharmacies to provide National Immunisation Program (NIP)-funded influenza vaccines this winter.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Ath said that as winter approached, this additional measure was necessary to ensure access to the influenza vaccine for the most at-risk Queenslanders.

“NIP-funded influenza vaccines have been previously available only in Queensland approved GPs and community clinics,” Ms D’Ath said.

“This year, we will invite more than 70 pharmacies in certain regional areas to participate in a pilot program to provide the vaccines.”

She said the pilot would enable select pharmacists to apply to become registered NIP providers for the influenza vaccine.

“Once they are approved, people aged 65 years and older will be able to get the influenza vaccine from these providers,” the Minister said.

“We are prioritising people aged 65 years and older as they are at increased risk of complications from influenza.”

She said the purpose of the pilot was to increase access to the influenza vaccine for the most vulnerable cohorts in regional areas.

“The pharmacies selected were chosen for a number of reasons, including their ability to already administer the COVID-19 vaccine, being located outside South-East Queensland and large regional centres, and having more than 20 per cent of their service area population aged 65 years and over,” Ms D’Ath said.

The pilot program will run throughout this year’s flu season which is typically from June to September, with the peak in August.

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