Pharmacist influenza vaccination trial

The WA Health Department and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (WA) are extending the trial of distribution of National Immunisation Program (NIP) influenza vaccine for persons over 65 to community pharmacies in 2020.

As part of this trial, registered pharmacies can access the influenza vaccine provided for persons over 65 under the NIP.

Registration for 2020

The trial is open to all community pharmacies with pharmacists trained in immunisation.

All pharmacies, both new and returning, must register in 2020 to participate in the trial using the registration form (external site).

The registration process also requires agreement with the terms and conditions of the trial.

If you are registered as an immunisation provider with the AIR, you are not required to register with the AIR again.

Registration for the 2020 trial has been extended. Registration is open until 12.00pm Friday 27 March 2020.

National Immunisation Program

The National Immunisation Program (NIP) (external site) is an established collaborative program involving the Australian Government and the state and territory governments, and provides free vaccines to eligible people.

Influenza vaccinations provided as part of the NIP should be administered according to recommendations in the Australian Immunisation Handbook (external site) and ATAGI advice on seasonal influenza vaccines (external site).

Authority to vaccinate in Western Australia

Pharmacists trained in immunisation are authorised by the Chief Executive Officer of Health to administer influenza vaccines at a registered pharmacy in Western Australia, under the Administration of Influenza Vaccines by Pharmacists Structured Administration Supply Arrangement (SASA) (located under CEO of Health SASA).

The SASA outlines the approved training requirements for all registered pharmacists, and the criteria which must be met in order to vaccinate persons legally.

Reporting vaccination to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)

All vaccines administered to a person must be recorded on the person’s AIR (external site) profile.

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 then be sent to the Department of Human Services, and a copy will be sent back to the applicant.

For more information on using AIR, please refer to the Guide to AIR.

Adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) reporting

An AEFI is an unwanted or unexpected event following the administration of a vaccine. As a notifiable infectious disease-related condition under the Public Health Regulations 2017 (external site), an AEFI should be reported to the WA Department of Health by the immunisation provider.

Refer to Adverse event following immunisation for information on how to notify.

Vaccine ordering

Vaccine orders for this trial will be processed through API, Symbion, or Sigma pharmaceutical wholesale distributors. Please order directly through these wholesalers.

In 2020, pharmacies registered for the trial may only order NIP-funded influenza vaccine persons over 65 through their preferred wholesaler. The preferred wholesaler is specified by the pharmacy during the registration process.

As a condition of the trial, any NIP vaccines that are discarded must be reported as vaccine wastage using our online wastage reporting form for community pharmacies (to uploaded shortly).

Vaccine cold chain management

The recommended temperature range for vaccine storage is between +2°C and +8°C. A cold chain breach occurs when vaccine storage temperatures have been outside the recommended +2°C and +8°C range, excluding fluctuations up to +12°C, lasting no longer than 15 minutes, as may occur during restocking.

Should any influenza vaccines provided under the NIP for the pharmacy trial be involved in a cold chain breach, please complete the Vaccine cold chain form – government funded influenza vaccines (PDF 173KB).

Follow the instructions on the form and contact your relevant Public Health Unit (as listed on the form), to seek thermal stability advice.

Influenza resources

Last reviewed: 10-03-2020
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