Department of Health

Pharmacist immunisers

Pharmacist Immunisers are registered pharmacists that have completed a recognised 'Immuniser program of study' and administer vaccines to specific client groups in approved locations such as community pharmacies as part of the Victorian Pharmacist-Administered Vaccination Program.

The Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2017 (the Regulations) enable the Secretary of the Department of Health (the department) to approve a Schedule 4 poison for administration by a pharmacist, and to specify the conditions in which a pharmacist is authorised to administer a Schedule 4 poison.

The Regulations also authorise pharmacists to administer a Schedule 3 poison to a person under their case if a therapeutic need exists.

The Regulations are available from the Victorian Legislation website.

A 'Secretary Approval Pharmacist Immuniser' defines the conditions that apply to Pharmacist Immunisers. The conditions of the Secretary Approval and related requirements for pharmacists are described in the Victorian Pharmacist-Administered Vaccination Program Guidelines. These include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Pharmacist Immunisers are required to complete a recognised 'Immuniser program of study', to hold a current first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation certificate, and to ensure that at least one other suitably qualified staff member is on-site when vaccination services are delivered in pharmacy settings.
  • Pharmacist Immunisers are expected to comply with current editions of the Australian Immunisation Handbook, the National Vaccine Storage Guidelines: Strive for 5, the Victorian Pharmacy Authority's Guidelines, and the Victorian Pharmacist-Administered Vaccination Program Guidelines.
  • Pharmacist Immunisers may administer vaccines in community pharmacies, hospitals, and in certain pharmacy depots including the provision of mobile or outreach services linked to these centres.
  • Pharmacies are required to nominate a responsible pharmacist and register with the Department of Health before they begin providing vaccinations. Registration will require completion of an application form for a government funded vaccine account. An application for government funded vaccine account form can be downloaded below.

A time-limited approval, Secretary Approval: Pharmacist Immuniser – SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE, authorises a Pharmacist Immuniser to possess and administer any SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (COVID-19 VACCINE) in accordance with the conditions outlined in the Approval until 6 May 2022 (inclusive), unless revoked earlier.

The amended Secretary Approval was published in the Government Gazette S 582 20 October 2021 pp. 4-7 (Pharmacist Immuniser – SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE) or accessible via the Medicines and Poisons – Secretary Approvals webpage. This approval supersedes the Secretary Approval: Pharmacist Immuniser – SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE published in the Government Gazette S 208 7 May 2021.

  • Further information is available in the Victorian COVID-19 vaccination guidelines. These guidelines provide a primary point of information and resources for Victorian COVID-19 vaccination providers based on information and minimum site requirements set out by the Commonwealth. Compliance with these guidelines is a condition of the Public Health Emergency Orders and Secretary's Approvals that authorise the necessary Victorian workforce (which includes pharmacists) to deliver the vaccine. The guidelines also state the required training and supervision ratios for the Victorian emergency authorised immunisation workforce, which includes pharmacists.

Fees and charges by Pharmacist Immunisers

Pharmacist Immunisers may charge a service fee for administration of the vaccination to people who are eligible for government-funded vaccines, if they wish to do so. Pharmacist Immunisers are required to advise these persons about the availability of government-funded vaccines and free vaccination services through bulk-billing general practitioners, prior to administering the vaccine.

For those persons who are not eligible for government-funded vaccines the pharmacist may charge a fee for the vaccine and their services.

Reviewed 15 December 2021

Health.vic

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Immunisation Unit Department of Health

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