LOCAL residents are being urged to take advantage of the Tasmanian Government’s vaccination program in local pharmacies and GPs to ensure their measles and whooping cough vaccination are up to date.
TerryWhite Chemmart Lindisfarne pharmacist Anna West said measles was a potentially life-threatening disease.
“The risks of measles has dominated the news recently due to the deaths of young children in Samoa,” she said.
“Domestically, there has been a spike in measles notifications among otherwise healthy adults, often contracted overseas where vaccination rates aren’t as high as in Australia.
“We strongly recommend that anyone born after 1966 takes advantage of the Tasmanian Government’s vaccination program, which covers measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), now available in approved pharmacies across Tasmania to anyone over the age of 16.
“We especially recommend that people who are considering travelling overseas speak with their pharmacist about the MMR vaccination.”
Liberal Member for Franklin Jacquie Petrusma dropped into TerryWhite Chemmart Lindisfarne recently to receive a measles vaccine from Ms West.
Ms Petrusma said having pharmacists administer vaccinations in addition to general practitioners helped improve access for Tasmanians, particularly in regional areas.
“Because measles is not as prevalent in Australia as it is overseas, we tend to forget how severe flu and measles can be and often receiving a vaccination comes down to convenience,” she said.
“As well as the measles vaccine, Tasmanians can now receive even more accessible whooping cough immunisations, as the Liberal Government rolls out the next stage of our pharmacy vaccination program.”
Ms Petrusma said in 2019, Tasmania became the first state to enable authorised pharmacists to deliver low-cost flu vaccinations to children aged 10 and over.
“This follows our very successful free meningococcal vaccination program last year, which delivered thousands of vaccinations for young Tasmanians, and continues our strong focus that has resulted in record child immunisation rates in Tasmania,” she said.
Pharmacists who have completed the approved training program can administer diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (dTpa or whooping cough) vaccines to Tasmanians aged 16 and over, making it easy for customers to receive protection against serious diseases.
“Appropriately trained pharmacists being able to vaccinate helps to increase immunity in communities,” Ms West said.
“We particularly welcome the State Government allowing pharmacists to administer dTpa (whooping cough) vaccinations to those in close contact with newborns, such as fathers and grandparents.”
The MMR vaccination is made available to pharmacies and general practices through the State Government.
There is an administration fee to receive the vaccination charged by participating pharmacies.
Caption: Liberal Member for Franklin Jacquie Petrusma receives a measles vaccination from TerryWhite Chemmart Lindisfarne pharmacist Anna West.