WA Pharmacist Immunisers

WA Pharmacist vaccination scope has been expanded as of 1 January 2024 and includes the administration of the following vaccines to individuals aged 5 years and over in accordance with the Administration of Vaccines by Pharmacists SASA, the COVID-19 Vaccination SASA, the WA Immunisation Schedule and the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

COVID-19

Influenza

Pneumococcal

Diphtheria

Measles

Polio

Hepatitis B

Meningococcal

Rubella

Herpes Zoster

Mumps

Tetanus

Human Papillomavirus

Pertussis

Varicella

This information is current as at 1 January 2024 and is subject to updated State and Commonwealth advice.

Pharmacist Immunisers are registered pharmacists who have completed an approved immunisation training course and maintain competency through annual updates.

Immunisers must ensure that they have completed relevant training modules prior to administration of each vaccine.

Community Pharmacy Expansion of Immunisation Services

From 1 January 2024, community pharmacists can administer and access additional government-funded vaccines as per the Administration of Vaccines by Pharmacists SASA.

The WA Department of Health has communicated details of the expansion of immunisation services program to community pharmacies via email.

View WADOH Letter

In line with the expansion, the Commonwealth government has introduced a National Immunisation Program Vaccinations in Pharmacy (NIPVIP) Program to take effect as of 1 January 2024. The NIPVIP program allows eligible patients to access government-funded National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines in participating community pharmacies with no out-of-pocket expenses.

Participation in the NIPVIP program is voluntary and pharmacies can choose whether or not to participate.

Authority to Administer Vaccines: SASA documents

Pharmacists are authorised to administer vaccines as per the two Structured Administration Supply Arrangement (SASA) documents issued by the Chief Executive Officer of Health.

National Immunisation Program Vaccinations in Pharmacy (NIPVIP) Program

The Commonwealth government has launched the National Immunisation Program Vaccinations in Pharmacy (NIPVIP) Program to commence from 1 January 2024. The NIPVIP program allows eligible patients to access government-funded National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines in participating community pharmacies with no out-of-pocket expenses.

Participation in the NIPVIP program is voluntary and pharmacies can choose whether or not to participate.

Pharmacies that choose to participate in the NIPVIP Program cannot charge patients any additional fees for the administration of NIP vaccines. A payment of $18.85 per vaccination is claimable via the PPA portal. Where a patient is not eligible (does not consent or vaccine is administered off-site) for NIPVIP, the vaccination service (administration of the vaccine) may be offered at a patient’s cost. In this instance, patients will be charged an administration/consultation fee. Pharmacies should advise patients of any fees prior to administration of vaccines and must not charge for the NIP vaccine itself. NIP vaccines must be administered in line with the Administration of Vaccines by Pharmacists SASA and the WA Immunisation Schedule.


IMPORTANT NOTE:

The NIPVIP program does not cover state-funded vaccines as per the WA Immunisation Schedule (identified with an asterisk). Pharmacists cannot charge eligible patients for the cost of state-funded vaccines but should charge patients an administration/consultation fee. The administration fee is not be claimable under the NIPVIP Program. Patients should be advised of any fees prior to administration of the vaccines.

The state funded vaccines include:

  • Hepatitis B vaccine for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people ≥20 years
  • MMR vaccine for patients born after 1965
  • Influenza vaccine for children ≥ 5 years to Year 6 at school
  • Influenza vaccine for vulnerable cohorts 12 to <65 years
  • Influenza vaccine for WA Health staff

Pharmacies that choose not to participate in the NIPVIP Program can administer NIP vaccines to eligible patients and charge the patient an administration/consultation fee. Pharmacies should advise patients of any fees prior to administration of vaccines and must not charge for the NIP vaccine itself. NIP eligible patients should be advised that free vaccination services may be available through other vaccination providers. NIP vaccines must be administered in line with the Administration of Vaccines by Pharmacists SASA and the WA Immunisation Schedule.

Selective pharmacy participation is not permitted. A pharmacy cannot choose to claim payment under the NIPVIP Program for administration of some eligible NIP vaccines and charge the patient an administration/consultation fee for other eligible NIP vaccines.

Where a patient is not eligible for a government-funded NIP vaccine as per the WA Immunisation Schedule, pharmacies may administer privately purchased vaccines and charge the patient for the vaccine plus an administration/consultation fee. Vaccines must be administered in line with the Administration of Vaccines by Pharmacists SASA and in accordance with the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

The NIPVIP Program FAQs have been developed and are available on the PPA website to assist pharmacies wishing to  participate in the program.

Points of note for pharmacies wishing to participating in the NIPVIP Program:
  • Pharmacies wishing to participate in the program must register for NIPVIP program via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator (PPA) in order to claim for vaccine services
  • Pharmacists must be familiar with and adhere to all conditions of the Administration of Vaccines by Pharmacists SASA
  • Pharmacist Immunisers must ensure that they have completed relevant training modules prior to administration of each vaccine
  • Government-funded NIP vaccines are ordered through a WA Department of Health Onelink account
  • Under the NIPVIP Program:
    • Participating pharmacies cannot charge eligible patients any out-of-pocket fees
    • Participating pharmacies can claim a payment of $18.85 per vaccination via the PPA portal
    • Patients are required to provide written or verbal consent to a NIPVIP service. A NIPVIP Program Patient consent form is available on the PPA website.
    • Vaccinations must be administered inside the community pharmacy premises (off-site vaccinations cannot be claimed under the program)
    • Provide the service in accordance with PSA Standards and Guidelines, ATAGI guidelines, Australian Immunisation Handbook recommendations and State Legislation
  • Government-funded vaccines can only be administered to eligible patients aged 5 years and over at time points outlined in the WA Immunisation Schedule and according to the Australian Immunisation Handbook
  • All vaccines administered must be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)

Influenza Immunisation Program

Government-funded influenza vaccines will continue to be available through community pharmacies.

Each year influenza vaccines are administered in accordance with the updated clinical advice provided by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

An Influenza Online Training Module is available for completion as an annual refresher to support immunisers and ensure they stay up to date with the latest information on influenza immunisation.

Ordering of government-funded vaccines

The National Immunisation Program (NIP) is an established collaborative program involving the Australian Government along with State and Territory Governments.

NIP funded vaccines will continue to be provided through WA community pharmacies.

Pharmacies wishing to order government-funded vaccine stock are required to have a Onelink Vaccine Ordering account.

Transfer of government-funded vaccine stock

Stock transfers of government-funded vaccines are NOT encouraged by the WA Department of Health.

This includes pharmacy-to-pharmacy, pharmacy-to-GP and any other stock movements.

Please direct any queries to vaccineorders@health.wa.gov.au

Reporting Vaccinations to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)

It is mandatory for all vaccinations to be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

Pharmacist immunisers should access the AIR to view the patient's immunisation history prior to administration of any vaccines to ensure appropriateness of vaccination.

Further information on how to register for the AIR and how to record vaccines on the AIR is available on our website.

Cold Chain breaches and vaccine wastage

A cold chain breach occurs when the vaccine is exposed to temperatures outside the recommended range or exposure to light after it has been removed from the packet and the glass vaccine fridge door allows light to penetrate.

In such instances a cold chain breach protocol must be followed and reported.

Please note that COVID-19 Vaccine breaches and wastage are reported to the Vaccines Operations Centre (VOC).

Reporting Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI)

Any unwanted or unexpected events following vaccine administration, AEFIs, must be reported to the WA Vaccine Safety Surveillance (WAVSS) via SAFEVAC.

Annual training requirements for pharmacist immunisers

Pharmacist immunisers are required to maintain currency of their CPR Certificate, First Aid Certificate and ASCIA Anaphylaxis Certificate.

As per the 1 January 2024 Administration of Vaccines by Pharmacists SASA pharmacists are required to complete an annual update to meet competencies as listed in the SASA.

The annual update can be accessed via the WA Health immunisation education website.

In addition, an online Influenza Training Module must be completed annually.

Further information on training requirement is available on our Annual Updates for Pharmacist Immunisers webpage.

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Page last updated on: 09 February 2024