20 May , 2014
Warnings by Health authorities that this year’s flu season in NQ could be worse than usual highlight the great benefits that can be provided through services like the Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot (QPIP) research program currently being undertaken across the State.
The Queensland Department of Health has warned that there has already been a notable increase in flu cases this year and that it seems to be occurring outside the traditional flu season. The Queensland Branches of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Guild) are conducting the QPIP research program across 80 community pharmacies in Queensland during this year’s flu season.
President of the PSA Qld Branch, Professor Lisa Nissen, said the Guild and PSA were working with the Queensland University of Technology and James Cook University to ensure the pilot’s research outcomes were of the highest standard and robustness.
“So far we have conducted over 8500 immunisations during this pilot – all without incident or adverse outcomes,” Professor Nissen said.
“The pilot to date has been highly successful and what is pleasing is that many people being vaccinated have not been immunised previously, or have not been immunised for a number of years.”
Queensland Branch President of the Pharmacy Guild, Tim Logan, said that about 25 per cent of people immunised under the pilot were ‘walk-ins’.
“The convenience of the scheme and the access of pharmacists have been widely commented on by consumers as a key benefit of the service in feedback forms which have been overwhelmingly positive,” he said.
“Consumers are very happy with the service and the ease with which they can get their vaccinations. This access and service will be particularly significant in NQ where a more severe than usual flu season is anticipated. Being able to walk in and have a flu shot may save many people from becoming ill.”
Professor Beverley Glass, Chair in Pharmacy James Cook University, said the high uptake of consumers receiving vaccinations in the pilot indicated confidence and trust in the scheme and in pharmacists’ ability to safely and efficiently provide immunisations.
“This pilot is being very closely monitored and the results from it will be used to further improve health outcomes of consumers across rural, regional and metropolitan Australia,” Professor Glass said.
Information about the sites participating in the pilot can be found on the PSA and Pharmacy Guild websites at http://www.psa.org.au/news/approved-sites-for-queensland-pharmacist-immunisation-pilot and http://www.guild.org.au/qld_branch/professional-services/queensland-pharmacist-immunisation-pilot-%28qpip%29
MEDIA CONTACTS: Peter Waterman (PSA) 0487 922 176
Greg Turnbull (Pharmacy Guild) (02) 6270 1821