Pharmacists granted sweeping new vaccination role

In an Australian first, pharmacists in South Australia will start giving catch-up vaccines for MMR, pertussis, diphtheria and polio to patients as young as 16.

The sweeping new powers follow reforms over the past three years that have made the flu vaccine available in pharmacies in every state and territory.

All participants in the new program will have to complete training provided by the Pharmacy Guild, and must work in a pharmacy approved by the state’s health department.

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The RACGP has condemned the move, noting that the newly added vaccines are significantly more complex and risky than the flu vaccine.