PHARMACISTS HELP FIGHT FLU AND WHOOPING COUGH

PHARMACISTS HELP FIGHT FLU AND WHOOPING COUGH

Protecting yourself and your family from whooping cough and the flu has become easier, with Victorians now able to receive their flu and whooping cough vaccinations from their local pharmacist without having to visit a GP or nurse.

As part of the Andrews Labor Government’s work to ensure all Victorians can access the health care they need, eligible adults can now receive vaccines under the National Immunisation Program and the Government’s Parents’ Whooping Cough Vaccination Program from their pharmacists.

Those eligible for the two programs will pay a small service fee, while those not eligible can still receive the flu and whooping cough vaccinations from their pharmacist for a fee that covers the cost of the vaccine and the pharmacist’s service fee.

Giving families more options to access vaccinations not only protects those most at risk of vaccine-preventablediseases, but helps to build immunity levels across the community to protect those that are too young or unable to be vaccinated.

With 87 per cent of Victorians living within 2.5km of a pharmacist, this new initiative will mean families have another close and convenient option to access these critical vaccinations.

We know that immunisations save lives, and we want to ensure all Victorians can access the vaccinations they need, close to home and when they need them.

The Parents’ Whooping Cough Vaccination Program was cruelly axed by the former Liberal Government, and reintroduced by the Labor Government in June 2015.

Since its reintroduction, there has been a massive decrease in whooping cough cases, with 1,419 cases so far this year, compared to 2,375 at the same time last year.

Around 136,000 doses of whooping cough vaccine have been distributed to immunisation providers since June 2015.

The new Pharmacist-Administered Vaccination Program will also mean Victorian pharmacists will be equipped to play an important role in response and management in the case of a future pandemic influenza.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“We know that with work and family commitments it can sometimes be hard to make time to get that flu shot – that’s why we’re giving Victorians another option to access these important vaccinations close to home.”

“With close to 90 per cent of people living within walking distance or a 5 minute drive to a pharmacy, this will make getting vaccinated against the flu and whooping cough that little bit easier.”

“With nearly a thousand fewer cases of whooping cough compared to this time last year after the reintroduction of our free whooping cough vaccine program for expectant and new parents, the evidence is clear.”

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