17 July 2023
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the Queensland Government's announcement of state-wide, no-cost influenza vaccinations for Queenslanders from this Saturday, 22 July.
PSA Queensland President Shane MacDonald MPS said that the move will encourage more Queenslanders to make influenza vaccination a part of their regular health care.
“All Queensland age groups have the lowest or second-lowest influenza vaccination coverage of any state or territory this year,” Mr MacDonald said.
“Particularly at risk are young children, of which less than 20 per cent are vaccinated against influenza in 2023. Vaccination rates among Queenslanders aged 5 to 15 years is the lowest in Australia, sitting at just 11.1 per cent.
“We have already seen the deadly impact of low vaccination rates across the country, and if we don’t act now it will only get worse.
“Removing cost barriers and giving Queenslanders greater access to vaccines through community pharmacies is a great first step to improving vaccine uptake,” Mr MacDonald said.
“Pharmacists are able to vaccinate patients 6 months and over, meaning many families can come into their pharmacy together for their flu vaccines.
“With the flu season now in full swing, we need to do everything we can to protect Australian children by increasing access to vaccination and providing Queensland families with optimal protection against this deadly disease.
“As pharmacists we have demonstrated the crucial role we continue to play in protecting the health of Australians. We must do better than this to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.
“Pharmacists are practicing in almost every community from Brisbane to Cape York, supporting the health and wellbeing of our patients.
“Our message to all Queenslanders is simple, visit your local pharmacist and get your influenza vaccine,” Mr MacDonald concluded.
Data from NCIRS (accessed 17 July 2023)
Media contact: Georgia Clarke M: 0480 099 798 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the only national peak body that represents all of Australia’s pharmacists across all practice settings. We want every Australian to have access to the best healthcare, and this must include optimising access to pharmacists’ knowledge and medicines expertise at the forefront of our healthcare system.