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Starting January, NSW pharmacists will offer more vaccine shots

Photo: NSW pharmacists to offer more shots
From January, pharmacists in NSW who complete an approved course will be able to give vaccines for measles, whooping cough and other shots.

People in NSW will soon be able to go to a pharmacist instead of their GP to get a range of a vaccinations in addition to the flu jab.

From January, those who complete an approved course will be able give diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (dTpa) shots, whooping cough and measles, mumps and rubella to anyone over the age of 16.

"People tell us access to a GP can be difficult at times whether you live in the city, country or on the coast, so expanding pharmacy vaccinations gives people more choice," Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro said in a statement on Friday.
The state government hopes it will mean more people get immunised before travelling overseas.

But the move has been slammed by doctors, who have labelled it short-sighted.

Australian Medical Association NSW president Kean-Seng Lim said vaccination was more than just about giving someone a needle.

"Receiving a vaccine from a pharmacist might be convenient, but it's a lost opportunity for patients to discuss their health with their GP," Dr Lim said in a statement.

"Men are particularly vulnerable, as they are less prone to be proactive about their health and more likely to reduce regular visits to the doctor."

The AMA is encouraging people to go to a GP instead for their vaccinations for a "proper consultation".

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