Pharmacist-administered influenza vaccination program

This program allows community pharmacists to administer National Immunisation Program (NIP) and state-funded influenza vaccines to eligible individuals, ensuring greater access to vaccination for individuals who are most at risk of complications from influenza.

Individuals eligible for a free influenza vaccine at participating pharmacies

The following individuals are eligible for a free seasonal influenza vaccine at participating pharmacies:

  • pregnant women (at any stage of pregnancy)
  • people aged 65 years and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 5 years and over
  • children aged 5 years to age in year 6, i.e. primary school aged
  • people aged 5 years and over with medical conditions putting them at increased risk of severe influenza and its complications*.

*Refer to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advice on seasonal influenza vaccines in 2022 (external site) for guidance regarding medical conditions associated with an increased risk of influenza disease complications and which individuals are eligible for government-funded vaccination under the NIP.

Ordering vaccines

Pharmacies are required to have a vaccine ordering account with the state’s vaccine distributor, Onelink to be able to order government-funded vaccines from the WA Department of Health.

For more information on ordering vaccines, please visit the vaccine ordering.

Authority to vaccinate in Western Australia

Pharmacists trained in immunisation are authorised by the Chief Executive Officer of Health to administer influenza vaccines to individuals aged 5 years and over, at a registered pharmacy in Western Australia, under the Administration of Influenza Vaccines by Pharmacists (Word 212KB), Structured Administration and Supply Arrangement (SASA).

The SASA is issued under the Medicines and Poisons Regulations 2016 (WA), and outlines the criteria which must be met prior to administering vaccines to eligible individuals e.g. conditions, training and setting requirements.

Reporting vaccinations to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)

Effective 1 March 2021, it is mandatory for all immunisation providers to report influenza vaccinations to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), in accordance with the Australian Immunisation Register Amendment (Reporting) Rules 2021 (external site).

To do so, immunisation providers need to register on the AIR by completing the application to register form (external site) and emailing a signed copy to AIR.authorisation@health.wa.gov.au.

Once approved by the WA Department of Health, the application will be sent to Services Australia (external site), and a copy will be sent back to the applicant.

Vaccine management

Vaccines should be stored and managed in cold chain (the system of transporting and storing vaccines within the safe temperature range of +2 to +8 °C), in accordance with the Strive for 5 – National Vaccine Storage Guidelines (external site).

Reporting cold chain breaches and vaccine wastage

Cold chain breaches and other wastage incidents

A cold chain breach occurs when storage temperatures deviates outside of the recommended range of +2 to +8 °C. This does not include temperature deviations or excursions in which the temperature reaches a maximum of up to +12 °C for 15 minutes or less. Any deviation below +2 °C must be reported.

To report cold chain breaches, follow the cold chain breach protocol and complete the cold chain breach and vaccine wastage form (PDF 127KB) if necessary.

To report other wastage incidents, please use the cold chain breach and vaccine wastage form (PDF 127KB).

Expired vaccines

All expired government-funded vaccines must be reported to the WA Department of Health using the vaccine expiry wastage reporting form.

Reporting adverse events following immunisation

An adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) is an unwanted or unexpected event following the administration of a vaccine.

Immunisation providers who become aware of an adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) should notify the WA Vaccine Safety Surveillance (WAVSS) system via SAFEVAC Reporting (external site).

Reporting of AEFIs to WAVSS is a condition of the SASAs that provide the authority for pharmacists to administer immunisations in Western Australia.

Fees and charges

Should pharmacists intend to charge an administration fee for providing government-funded vaccines to eligible individuals, they are required to advise these individuals of the availability of free vaccination services through bulk-billing general practitioners.

For individuals who are not eligible for government-funded vaccines, they may privately purchase an influenza vaccine from a pharmacist who may charge a fee for both the vaccine and the service. Several private health insurance providers also provide vaccines to pharmacists for their members to access this free of charge.

More information

Contact vaccineorders@health.wa.gov.au for queries regarding the program.

Last reviewed: 21-04-2022
Produced by

Communicable Disease Control Directorate