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.

Maintaining immunisation services during COVID-19

It is vital to continue providing vaccinations to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The WA Health Department has published guidelines (PDF 138KB) for pharmacies to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission to staff and clients while continuing to provide immunisations. It is strongly recommended that all pharmacies providing immunisations familiarise themselves with the guidelines provided. 

Additional information and resources for pharmacies relating to COVID-19 are available.

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.

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).

Reporting vaccinations 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 are currently being processed through Sigma only. Please order directly through Sigma.

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 Influenza vaccine cold chain breach and incident 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.

It is a requirement of the trial that you report cold chain breaches, where NIP vaccines are involved, to your relevant Public Health Unit as per the WA Cold Chain Breach Protocol.

Vaccine wastage reporting

As a condition of the trial, any NIP vaccines that are discarded must be reported as vaccine wastage to WA Health.

To report those discarded due to a cold chain breach, user error or other reason, please use this form: Influenza vaccine cold chain breach and incident form – government funded influenza vaccines (PDF 173KB). This form is not to be used for reporting vaccine expiry.

To report vaccine expiry please use this form: National Immunisation Program (NIP) Vaccine Expiry Reporting Form for Community Pharmacies

You are reminded that Fluad® Quad is due to expire in Dec 2020 or Jan 2021, depending on the batch that was distributed to your site.

Influenza resources

More information

For more information regarding the trial please email doh.pivt@health.wa.gov.au

Last reviewed: 22-09-2020
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