Pharmacists trained to administer meningococcal vaccinations in the state’s North

Chief pharmacist Peter Boyles talks with Launceston pharmacists about the meningococcal vaccine at Launceston Clinical School on Wednesday. Picture: Paul Scambler
Chief pharmacist Peter Boyles talks with Launceston pharmacists about the meningococcal vaccine at Launceston Clinical School on Wednesday. Picture: Paul Scambler

Northern Tasmanian pharmacists are expected to be providing meningococcal vaccinations as early as next week, as part of a public health response to the disease.

More than 40 authorised pharmacist immunisers attended training sessions in Launceston on Wednesday.

Director of Public Health Dr Mark Veitch said once trained, pharmacists would be able to provide vaccinations to people aged 10 to 21 years.

Children aged under 10 will need to be taken to a general practitioner or public clinic.

The government is providing free vaccines for Tasmanians aged between six weeks and 21 years, as part of an expanded vaccination program. 

It follows six confirmed cases in Tasmania this year, all in the state’s South. 

Dr Veitch said with pharmacists providing additional vaccination options alongside general practitioners, it was hoped all Tasmanians aged between six weeks and 21 years and born after August 1, 1997, would get a meningococcal ACWY vaccination.

“The public health response is currently targeting the suburbs of New Town, Moonah, Glenorchy and nearby, but all Tasmanians in the target age group, regardless of where they live, will be offered vaccine over the next three months,” he said. 

About 5000 Tasmanians received free vaccinations at booked-out public health clinics at the Derwent Entertainment Centre last weekend. 

A second round, free vaccination clinic will also be held at the DEC on Saturday, August 18, and Sunday, August 19. 

No clinic dates for the state’s North have yet been announced. 

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