Department of Health

Pharmacist Immunisers are registered pharmacists who have completed a recognised 'Immuniser program of study' and administer vaccines to specific client groups in approved locations 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 websiteExternal Link .

The Secretary Approvals for Pharmacist Immunisers define the conditions that apply to Pharmacist Immunisers when administering approved vaccines.

The amended Secretary Approval: Pharmacist Immuniser was published in the Victorian Government Gazette S518 3 October 2022 (PDF)External Link .

The amended Secretary Approval: Pharmacist Immuniser SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE was published in the Government Gazette S530 5 October 2023 (PDF)External Link .

The conditions of the Secretary Approvals and related requirements for pharmacists are also 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. For more information, see the ordering vaccine page .
  • Pharmacist Immunisers must successfully complete any mandated training modules for vaccines that are not included in a recognised ‘Immuniser program of study’, prior to administering these vaccines to approved client groups. Pharmacist immunisers should see the Japanese encephalitis and mpox (monkeypox) pages for vaccine information, eligibility criteria and training requirements.
  • Pharmacist immunisers administering COVID-19 vaccines should refer to the COVID-19 vaccine page for any additional requirements (training or otherwise).

For additional training requirements, see the Victorian Immunisation Learning HubExternal Link and the relevant Secretary Approval.

Community Pharmacist Statewide Pilot

The Department of Health commenced a 12-month statewide pilot in October 2023 to test an expanded role for community pharmacists.

During the pilot, participating and appropriately trained community pharmacists are able to provide:

  • treatment for women (18 – 65 years) with uncomplicated urinary tract infections
  • resupply without prescription of select oral contraceptive pills to women (16 – 50 years)
  • treatment of mild skin conditions – shingles and psoriasis (from early 2024)
  • administer additional vaccines and provide travel health advice.

Pharmacist immunisers participating in the pilot's vaccination and travel health stream must complete further training and provide care according to a protocol. For more information, see Victorian Community Pharmacist Statewide Pilot.

Fees and charges by Pharmacist Immunisers

The Australian Government implemented the National Immunisation Program Vaccinations in Pharmacy (NIPVIP) program on 1 January 2024. Community pharmacies that choose to register as a NIPVIP Service Provider will be funded to administer NIP vaccines to eligible individuals 5 years of age and older within the scope of their immunisers' authorisation, with no out of pocket cost to the individual. For more information, see the NIPVIP Pharmacy Programs AdministratorExternal Link page on the Pharmacy Programs Administrator website.

For clients eligible for state-funded (non-NIP) vaccines, pharmacies may wish to charge a service fee for administration of the vaccine. Before administering the vaccine, clients should be aware of the availability of state-funded vaccines and free vaccination services through bulk-billing general practitioners.

For those persons who are not eligible for NIP or state-funded vaccines, the pharmacist may charge for the cost of the vaccine, plus an administration fee. Further detail is provided in the Victorian Pharmacist-Administered Vaccination Program Guidelines.

Reviewed 31 December 2023

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