Teens can now get the flu jab at pharmacies

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Teens can now get the flu jab at pharmacies

Queensland teens can now receive vaccines for highly contagious, preventable diseases from their local pharmacist.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the changes would make it easier for 16 and 17-year-old Queenslanders and their parents.

“From tomorrow, Queenslanders from 16 years of age can now get vaccinated for influenza, pertussis (whooping cough) and measles at a pharmacy,

“Previously only GPs could vaccinate under 18s.

“Queenslanders aged 16-and-over can get their vaccinations without parental consent, so these changes will make it much easier for them to access vaccinations like the flu shot.

“This will also make life easier for parents with teenage children.”

Mr Miles said the amendments also allow younger Queenslanders to make their own decisions about getting vaccinated.

“This is a step in the right direction for Queensland to reduce the barriers for kids of anti-vax parents to gain access to vaccines for preventable diseases,” Mr Miles said.

“It also brings Queensland into line with other states and territories.”

As well as amending the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 (HDPR), the pharmacist vaccination drug therapy protocol will be revised to specify that a pharmacist may administer the specified vaccines to a person 16 years and older, instead of an “adult” as previously stated.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said pharmacists provide an additional opportunity for vaccination for people who would not otherwise get vaccinated.

“Vaccination is the best way to prevent the spread of contagious, preventable diseases,” Dr Young said.

“Increasing the access to vaccines for preventable diseases increases not only the individual’s protection, but also helps reduce the spread of the disease within the community – also known as herd immunity.”