Pharmacists call for immunisation "Catch-Up Plan"
1 October 2019
The Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand is calling for a formal Ministry of Health led “Catch-Up Plan” to increase the populations immunisation levels.
Ian McMichael, President of the Society said recently that “with 1,000 accredited pharmacist vaccinators and pharmacies in all communities, pharmacists are part of the solution to our falling immunisation rates.”
“There is a robust, proven set of procedures which pharmacist vaccinators follow when providing vaccinations to the public and they are trained the same as other health professionals to carry out vaccination services,” said McMichael.
Your local pharmacy is already able to provide vaccinations for influenza, shingles (herpes zoster), Tdap (Tetanus, diptheria and whooping cough), and meningitis (meningococcal), but not for MMR (measles, mumps, rubella).
“It is now urgent that the Ministry of Health amend the policies and regulations governing who can provide MMR vaccinations to include accredited pharmacist vaccinators, and for PHARMAC to fund the delivery of this service,” said McMichael.
The Society is also asking the government to change regulations, get the software “plug in” to enable pharmacists to be able to report in electronically to the National Immunisation Register, forecast and contract for increased stock levels,” explained McMichael.
The Ministry of Health has not confirmed a catch-up campaign was planned but said it had not been ruled out.