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Pharmacists Could Play A Valuable Role In Boosting Childhood Vaccination Rates

Pharmacists could play a valuable role in boosting childhood vaccination rates and by being a “bridge” back to general practice.

The Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) will take part in the consultation over plans to allow community pharmacists to give childhood vaccinations, says PSNZ president Rhiannon Braund.

The Government is proposing to remove the ordering restrictions on childhood vaccinations for providers and expand the workforce who can give vaccinations.

Professor Braund said the proposal is timely.

“Community Pharmacy as another vaccination point could be a way for patients to meet the timelines needed for the childhood vaccinations, and allow a more shared care approach. This would see pharmacists working alongside General Practice collaboratively to meet the needs of patients and their whanau.”

Whatever comes out of this proposal, pharmacists will need to be resourced to be part of this initiative as others already are.

“We want expectations to be realistic and we want what is best for communities. Pharmacists proved their worth when it came to the response to Covid 19. This proposal will also come down to engagement, relationships, and trust”

“While many pharmacists were upskilled during the COVID vaccination rollout, we know some pharmacists will need further training.

“PSNZ will work with other agencies to organise this.”

Prof Braund says whatever policy comes out of this, actions need to be meaningful, fast, and safe.

“We know removing barriers to vaccinators can only be a good thing for community health outcomes.”

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