inclusion of meningococcal B, haemophilus influenzae type b and varicella vaccines to people aged 5 years and over;
removal of reference to diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis combination vaccine and measles-mumps-rubella combination vaccine;
addition of diphtheria toxoid, tetanus toxoid, pertussis antigen, measles vaccine, mumps vaccine and rubella vaccine to enable pharmacist immuniser to administer the vaccines in varying combinations e.g. ADT and MMRV;
lowering of the age that pharmacist immunisers can administer vaccines protecting against diphtheria, measles, meningococcal ACWY, mumps, pertussis, rubella and tetanus to people aged 5 years and over, and administer human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to people aged 9 years and over.
Resources on the NSW Health webpage have been updated including the vaccine eligibility table.
To register for a VAN, visit State Vaccine Centre – New Pharmacy Account and follow the prompts, noting that you will need to provide your Pharmacy’s Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) provider number, principal accredited pharmacist immuniser’s AHPRA number/expiry date and confirm that all pharmacist immunisers have access to AIR to review and update vaccination records.
Pharmacists that do not already have organisation and individual PRODA access, must also apply for PRODA prior to applying for a VAN
If you previously applied for a VAN and you have not received advice from the State Vaccine Centre, please call 1300 656 132.
National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines in Pharmacies
School vaccination program vaccines
HPV, dTpa and MenACWY vaccines
From 6 May 2022, appropriately trained pharmacist immunisers can supply and administer National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines to eligible cohorts who would be routinely offered vaccination in the NSW School Vaccination Program. These vaccines include:
human papillomavirus (HPV)
meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY)
Pharmacist immunisers may also administer private market HPV, dTpa and MenACWY vaccines to people aged 20 and over who are not eligible for NIP vaccine.
National Immunisation Program (NIP) flu vaccines in pharmacy
For the first time, flu vaccine for those aged 65 years and over (Fluad Quad) will also be available from pharmacies, in addition to GP clinics. While the flu vaccine is free, pharmacies and clinics may charge an administration or consultation fee.
People aged 10 to 64 years can also receive flu vaccines from pharmacies, however these are not funded and must be purchased privately. Some people aged 10 to 64 years can receive a free flu vaccine from their GP clinic if they meet the NIP eligibility criteria
Who is eligible to receive a free NIP funded flu vaccine in a pharmacy?
Any individual aged 65 years and over and who is currently well and has not had anaphylaxis to another vaccine or medicine.
*Please note the vaccine is free, but you may be charged an administration fee. It is recommended that you call your pharmacy and check that they have vaccine available.
State funded flu vaccine
NSW state funded vaccines in pharmacy
The NSW Government will fund flu vaccinations from 1 June to 30 June 2022.
Free flu shots will be available at pharmacies for everyone aged 5 years and over
Pharmacies that use ProjectStop or participated in the Concessional RAT Scheme will already be equipped to participate in this program and will just have to register to the Corporate Vaccination Program.
The supply of Schedule 4 medications including vaccines with the intention to supply to another provider may be undertaken only by a licensed wholesaler.
A special licence was put in place in regards to COVID-19 vaccines that allowed providers, including a community pharmacist, to supply COVID-19 vaccines between those providers specified in the licence. This license was established when COVID-19 vaccine supplies were constrained and when the time to expiry following thawing was very short i.e. 5 days for Comirnaty vaccine. These special licence provisions do not apply to influenza vaccines.
A community pharmacist may only supply influenza vaccine to a patient dispensed on prescription or a pharmacist immuniser may supply and administer to a patient in accordance with the NSW Pharmacist Vaccination Standards.
COVID-19 vaccine boosters in RACF
From 8 November 2021 until 30 June 2022, community pharmacies can claim two types of vaccination incentive payments as follows:
A Site Visit payment (flag fall) of $57.25 for pharmacies who visit vulnerable patients and workers to administer COVID-19 vaccinations.
A Residential Care Incentive payment to vaccinate workers and residents at residential aged care and residential disability care facilities. Pharmacies that provide a vaccination to 50 eligible workers (across any number of facilities) will receive a $1,000 payment
Community pharmacies may be contacted by their local Public Health Unit (PHU) to participate in cold chain reviews to support compliance with cold chain requirements.
As background, prior to the pandemic PHUs undertook cold chain reviews on a monthly basis of randomly selected immunisation providers (GPs and AMSs) as part of NSW Health quality assurance processes. Following recent discussions, PHUs are re-instating these audits in the coming months and, as community pharmacies are now receiving National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines, they will also be included in this process.
The review involves a short self-completed audit tool that reviews compliance with the National Vaccine Storage Guidelines ‘Strive for 5’. The PHU sends a one page self-audit tool to randomly selected providers, the provider is then requested to complete the tool and return it to the PHU with additional supporting information within 14 days of receiving it. The purpose of the audit tool is to enable providers to review their own cold chain processes and to subsequently work with the PHU/PHN to rectify any identified gaps, if required. The ‘Strive for 5’ vaccine storage self-audit is also available to assist providers and should be completed every 12 months.