13 September 2019
Measles outbreak: All pharmacists to be trained vaccinators in future
From 2020 all intern pharmacists will be trained as vaccinators as a regular part of their pharmacist intern training
Pharmaceutical Society President Ian McMichael says, “we are delighted to be working in collaboration with the
Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) to enable this to happen.”
The country’s immunisation rates for communicable diseases have been falling and are not necessarily at World Health
Organisation recommended levels.
“Everyone knows that outbreaks of diseases increase when immunisation levels decrease. This has been demonstrated by the
current measles outbreak that New Zealand is experiencing. With 1,000 accredited pharmacist vaccinators and pharmacies
in all communities, pharmacists are part of the solution to increasing immunisation rates.”
“Your community pharmacy is the most convenient access point for vaccinations for many people,” says McMichael.
The Society is calling for a formal Ministry of Health led “Catch-Up Plan” to increase the populations immunisation
“New Zealand needs additional supplies of vaccines to keep abreast of a growing population. This is the second time this
year that the country’s supply of vaccines for a disease has fallen well short of demand,” explains McMichael.
“The system needs fixing. We are asking the government to change regulations, get the software “plug in” to enable
pharmacists to be able to report in electronically to the National Immunisation Register, forecast and contract for
increased stock levels,” states McMichael.