Pharmacist immunisers are registered pharmacists with additional training that allows them to administer approved vaccines to specified patient groups. In Victoria, pharmacist immunisers are authorised to administer pertussis-containing, influenza and measles-mumps-rubella vaccines to patients 16 years and older. This improves accessibility for the community which is particularly important for pregnant women to protect themselves and their newborn.
Training programs need to be recognised by the Chief Health Officer. Details of training programs in Victoria are outlined below. The certificate of completion for the pharmacist should be on display in the immunisation area. Pharmacist immunisers must also hold current First Aid and CPR certificates, have professional insurance and participate in professional development in the area of immunisation.
Pharmacist immunisers must adhere to the policies and procedures of their local jurisdiction. In Victoria these include current editions of the following:
- Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances (DPCS) Regulations (the Regulations)
- Secretary Approval for Pharmacist Immunisers (the Approval)
- Victorian Pharmacist: Administered Vaccination Program Guidelines (the Guidelines)
- Australian Immunisation Handbook
- National Vaccine Storage Guidelines: Strive for 5
- Victorian Pharmacy Authority’s Guidelines
The Regulations, Approval and Guidelines outline the following requirements of the pharmacy premises:
- Pharmacist immunisers must immunise in either a hospital, pharmacy or pharmacy depot
- The premises must be registered with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and registered as a vaccination provider on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)
- Storage for immunisations must adhere to the National Vaccine Storage Guidelines: Strive for 5
- Immunisation must occur in a private consultation room that is not visible or audible to other people in the pharmacy, as outlined in the Victorian Pharmacy Authority Guidelines
- At least one other staff member in the pharmacy must hold current First Aid and CPR and be present during the administration and post-immunisation period
- Patients must be provided with adequate seating to wait for 15 minutes after immunisation, where they are in the line of sight of the pharmacist or other qualified staff member
- The pharmacist must have an accessible anaphylaxis response kit and emergency response protocol
- Pharmacists must verify and document administration of vaccines onto the Australian Immunisation Register
In addition to administration of immunisations, pharmacist immunisers can offer support in:
- The safety of immunisations in patients with medical conditions or taking particular medications
- Application of product information
- Education about additional immunisations that may not be provided on the immunisation schedule
- Vaccine procurement and management of vaccine shortages
The Royal Children’s Hospital Immunisation Service Pharmacist
The RCH Immunisation Service has a pharmacist immuniser as part of their specialist team. If you have any queries regarding a pharmacist’s role in immunisation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 882 924 (option 2)
Pharmacist Immuniser Training Programs
- Pharmaceutical Society of Australia: Manage the delivery and administration of injections and immunisations- Victoria
- Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Victoria: Delivering immunisation in a community pharmacy setting
Reviewed by: Rachael McGuire (SAEFVIC Research Nurse, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute), Annie Cobbledick (Immunisation Pharmacist, The Royal Children’s Hospital), Nigel Crawford (Director SAEFVIC, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute), Helen Pitcher (Immunisation Section, Department of Health and Human Services) and Linny Nguy (Immunisation Section, Department of Health and Human Services)
Date: May 2019
Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.
You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family’s personal health. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult a healthcare professional.