Public Health Services is working with the Pharmacy Guild of Tasmania and Pharmaceutical Society so that authorised immunisers can help deliver meningococcal ACWY vaccines to eligible Tasmanians.
To enable this, existing authorised pharmacist immunisers will be given additional training so they can provide vaccinations to Tasmanians aged from 10 to under 21.
Pharmacists have been able to provide flu vaccines to the adult public using pre-filled syringes for more than two years. This was a Hodgman Liberal Government reform, which helps keep Tasmanians healthy and out of hospital by being able to purchase and receive flu vaccinations from authorised pharmacists.
Meningococcal vaccines require an extra step to prepare the vaccine for injection. The additional training of authorised pharmacist immunisers will cover the features of meningococcal ACWY vaccines, advice on vaccinating older children and teenagers, the process for preparing and giving the vaccine, and participation in the Australian Immunisation Register.
Once training has been delivered, participating pharmacist immunisers will have their authorisation extended to provide vaccines to eligible Tasmanians under the Tasmanian Government’s expanded free meningococcal immunisation program.
This will give about 60,000 Tasmanians another option for receiving their meningococcal vaccine over the coming months.
We’d like to thank the Pharmaceutical Society, Pharmacy Guild and pharmacies across Tasmania for their considerable cooperation and assistance in getting meningococcal vaccines to the public as part of our Public Health response.
Posters and brochures are also being produced and widely distributed this week to GP clinics, pharmacies, childcare centres, schools, councils and Service Tasmania branches in order to raise public awareness.
An extra 6500 doses of the vaccine landed in Tasmania last week. The Government has ordered a further 90,000 doses to ensure adequate supply statewide, with delivery expected to begin this week.
It remains important for the public to be aware of the symptoms of meningococcal disease, such as fever, severe headache, severe muscle pain, and quickly becoming unusually unwell. Late in the illness, there can be a rash. Infants can be lethargic, floppy and feed poorly.
Anyone who is concerned they may be showing symptoms of meningococcal disease should seek emergency medical care.
Further information is available online at http://www.health.tas.gov.au or via the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.