Pharmacy students learn to immunise

Pharmacy students from La Trobe University in Bendigo will be the first in Victoria – and among only a few in the country – to learn how to immunise patients.

Pharmacy students will benefit from immunisation training through a new partnership with the peak national organisation for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

The vaccination training program is being offered in response to the Victorian Government’s recent legislative change, enabling registered pharmacists to immunise.

Regulations in Victoria allow pharmacists to administer influenza and pertussis-containing vaccines to adults at approved pharmacies, including those who qualify for the National Immunisation Program.

The training program includes lectures, online modules and a hands-on workshop for fourth year students who learn how to administer immunisations for two of the most common preventable diseases – influenza and whooping cough.

Work-ready graduates

La Trobe University lecturer in clinical pharmacy Richard Summers said the program was designed to upskill pharmacy graduates, giving them greater flexibility for when they complete their degrees.

“Immunising within the pharmacy setting makes sense for many reasons and importantly it has been shown to enhance vaccination rates in the community,” Mr Summers said. “If our students have the confidence and skills to immunise when they graduate, it will make their transition to the workplace that much easier.”

“Pharmacist-delivered immunisations will soon be commonplace, and when that happens, our alumni will be ready to embrace it,” Mr Summers said.

A world-class training program

PSA Executive Director, Practice Support and Education Jan Ridd welcomed the support of La Trobe University to ensure future pharmacists are skilled in this new area of pharmacist practice.

“PSA is delighted to partner with La Trobe University to support the profession by providing access to nationally accredited immunisation training for their students,” Ms Ridd said.

“Over the past 12 months, PSA has trained more than 2300 pharmacists around the country, according to the latest statistics, to enable pharmacists to deliver high-quality immunisation services and to provide a major public health boost in local communities.”

Ms Ridd said PSA looked forward to working with other leading Australian universities to deliver PSA’s world-class immunisation training program to students to ensure all pharmacists are ready to provide this essential public health service.

On a national level, pharmacist-delivered vaccinations are now approved in SA, Queensland, Victoria, ACT, NSW, WA and Tasmania.  The Northern Territory is still finalising regulations to deliver pharmacist immunisations, which are currently occurring through a pilot program.

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