Pharmacists can vaccinate adults against whooping cough, measles and the flu, but it might cost you more



Pharmacist immunisers are gradually being allowed to give more types of vaccines.
FotoDuets/Shutterstock

Catherine Tran, University of Sydney; Clayton Chiu, and Kristine Macartney, University of Sydney

Vaccines have long been available from GPs and nurses. But in recent years, laws have changed to add pharmacists to the list of health professionals who can give select vaccines without a prescription.

This may improve vaccination coverage against the flu, whooping cough and measles. But there’s a chance it could cost you more than if your saw your GP for the same shot.

Overcoming resistance

Before 2014, pharmacists couldn’t give vaccinations in Australia. Then a pilot study allowed a select group of Queensland pharmacies to offer the flu vaccine.

By this time, pharmacists had been giving certain vaccines in Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom for some years.

But in Australia, pharmacists didn’t have the skills and the law didn’t allow it. Another barrier was the attitudes of other health professionals, such as doctors, that pharmacists couldn’t or shouldn’t give vaccinations.




Read more:
How rivalries between doctors and pharmacists turned into the ‘turf war’ we see today


The Queensland pilot study concluded pharmacists could safely and effectively administer certain vaccines to adults, once they were trained. This training included how to administer injections and what to do if something went wrong, such as managing anaphylaxis and performing CPR.

State and territory regulations have changed since 2014 and pharmacist vaccination services have quickly grown. In Victoria, for example, the number of pharmacies registered to give vaccines grew, from 36 in 2017 to 489 in July 2019.

What vaccines can you get at the pharmacy?

The rules vary in each state and territory. Generally, if you’re 16 and over, pharmacist immunisers can give you the following three vaccines:

  • influenza (flu)
  • diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) – except Tasmania
  • measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) – except Tasmania and the ACT.

These are important vaccines that are sometimes needed if adults missed doses earlier in life or have waning immunity. The influenza vaccine needs to be given every year in a short time frame.




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Health Check: are you up to date with your vaccinations?


There are some further exceptions.

In the Australian Capital Territory, pregnant women can’t be vaccinated by a pharmacist.

In Tasmania and Western Australia, the flu vaccine can be given by a pharmacist to those aged ten and over.

Pharmacist immunisers are gradually being allowed to give more types of vaccines. In Western Australia, for example, pharmacists can now deliver the meningococcal ACWY vaccine to those aged 16 and over. This vaccine protects against around half of the strains that cause meningococcal disease in Australia.




Read more:
What is meningococcal disease and what are the options for vaccination?


It might cost you more

Some vaccines that would be free from your GP, practice nurse or immunisation clinic will need to be paid for if given at a community pharmacy. That’s because pharmacist immunisers aren’t able to access the government-funded vaccines that your clinic can.

Victoria is an exception – pharmacists can give select government-funded vaccines. And in the ACT and WA, the over-65s can access government-funded flu vaccines at pharmacies.

Pharmacists can’t usually access government-funded vaccines, aside from in Victoria.
Dragana Gordic/Shutterstock

The cost of vaccines at pharmacies varies. In Victoria, for example, the total fee charged for people not eligible for a government-funded vaccination is around A$20 for influenza and A$43 for pertussis (whooping cough).

Even if the vaccine is free, the pharmacy may still charge a consultation fee.

If you see your GP, they may either bulk bill you for the appointment or charge a consultation fee.

The best thing is to check ahead about any out-of-pocket expenses for vaccination when you make your booking.

Do you need to see a GP?

Pharmacy vaccination increases access to preventative health care, especially for those living in rural and remote areas, where it’s difficult to visit a doctor or clinics are infrequent.

Having pharmacists as immunisers also increases the immunisation workforce capacity for public health responses. To help address an outbreak of meningococcal disease last year in Tasmania, pharmacist immunisers administered the meningococcal ACWY vaccine to people aged 10 to 21.

Going to the pharmacist for some vaccines may take some pressure off family doctors and free GPs to deliver more complex care that only they can perform.




Read more:
The role of pharmacists should be overhauled, taking the heat off GPs


But there may be instances when it’s better to go to your GP for a vaccination, for example, if you’re pregnant, have a chronic health condition or need some blood tests related to vaccination. Or you might have other things to discuss with your doctor other than vaccines.The Conversation

Catherine Tran, Senior Research Officer and Pharmacist, National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, University of Sydney; Clayton Chiu, Public Health Physician, and Kristine Macartney, Professor, Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Muslim anti-Christian riots spread in Upper Egypt


It has been reported that today (Monday, November 23, 2009,) Muslim rioters looted and burned Coptic Christian businesses in the village of Abou Shousha, which lies 25 KM (nearly 16 miles) from Farshoot where recent violence had taken place, reports Dan Wooding, founder of ASSIST Ministries.

“The terrorized Coptic inhabitants of Abou Shousha have stayed indoors, their shops are closed and their children are being kept away from school,” wrote Mary Abdelmassih in a story for the Assyrian International News Agency (www.aina.org ). “They fear a repeat in their village of the Muslim violence which engulfed the town of Farshoot less than 36 hours earlier.

“The Middle East Christian Association (MECA) reported that at least three large Coptic stores and a pharmacy were looted and burnt in Abou Shousha and that the fire brigade arrived one hour late, although their headquarters is only 8 KM (5 miles) away from the village.”

Wagih Yacoub of MECA said, “They gave the pretext of being busy in Farshoot, which is untrue, as Farshoot had a quiet night. Coptic and Muslim neighbors tried to put the fire out.”

Abdelmassih went on to say that Bishop Kirrillos of the Nag Hamady Diocese said that a mob from the neighboring village of Abu Tesht torched the businesses in Abou Shousha. MECA reported that three girls were assaulted in the street by having bricks hurled at them. No serious injuries were reported.

On November 22, 2009, in a joint communiqué from fourteen Egyptian human rights organizations and lawyers called on President Hosni Mubarak to immediately intervene to save the Copts from the wrath of the mob and the subversive leaders behind them, who are seeking to sow discord and divisions among the Egyptians in the name of religion and “to hold accountable all involved in the incitement or attacks on the peaceful Copts in Farshoot.”

Abdelmassih wrote that the signatories to the statement asked President Mubarak to take the necessary measures to hold accountable the security force officials, who played the “role of spectator in the looting, arson and attacks on Coptic property in Farshoot.”

The communiqué strongly condemned the deportation and evacuation of the Copts in Farshoot from their homes and villages by the security forces, in violation of the provisions of the Egyptian Constitution which stipulates in Article 50 and 51 of the Code “No citizen may be prohibited from residing or be forced to reside in a specific area except in the circumstances set out in the law.

The NGOs’ statement stressed the right of the Coptic victims for compensation for the material losses and psychological damage, and strongly condemned the burning and insulting of the symbols of Christianity by the Muslims fanatics, and demanded everyone involved to be charged with the crime of “contempt of a heavenly religion.”

“It is estimated that over 80% of Coptic businesses have been destroyed in the 48 hours of violence in Farshoot,” said Abdelmassih.

A video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYFsW-uABJg&feature=player_embedded . It was prepared by Free Copts advocacy and shows Muslim mobs chanting Allah Akbar (God is Great) while looting and burning Coptic businesses and shops.

Abdelmassih added that the Egyptian Union for Human Rights (EUHRO) has advised that it is preparing a file with all the financial losses and damages to Coptic-owned businesses and property in Farshoot in preparation for filing a civil and a criminal case against the Egyptian Prime Minister, the Governor of Qena and the perpetrators.

“They want the Copts to be poor and are therefore destroying the Coptic economy in these areas,” explained Wagih Yacoub.

Bishop Kirollos again condemned the grave violations against Christians and their property, affirming his belief that the attacks were preplanned. “Students of Al-Azhar Institute in Farshoot, were incited by their Dean who sent them out on a rampage against the Copts. They were joined by a great number of locals,” he said.

Report from the Christian Telegraph 

EGYPT: CHRISTIANS ARRESTED, SHOPS LOOTED IN VILLAGE


Funeral incident leads to disproportionate response from Muslim mobs, police.

ISTANBUL, November 21 (Compass Direct News) – Authorities in an Egyptian village arrested 50 Coptic Christians, whose shops were then looted, to pacify Muslims following violence that erupted on Nov. 4 over a Christian boy’s unwitting break with custom.

Muslim villagers attacked the homes and shops of Coptic Christians in violence-prone Tayyiba, a town with 35,000 Christians and 10,000 Muslims, after 14-year-old Copt Mina William failed to dismount his donkey as a funeral procession passed.

William was watching the procession in Tayibba, 220 kilometers (137 miles) south of Cairo, with Nathan Yaccoub, also 14. William’s failure to dismount violated a local custom of showing respect, Copts United reported, and members of the procession reportedly beat him before completing the procession. William suffered minor injuries.

After the funeral procession, the processional members began throwing stones at the homes of local Copts and attacking their shops before police broke up the crowd with tear gas.

A priest said members of the procession did not attack the youths for showing disrespect but as an excuse to lash out against the community’s Christians for a previous episode of sectarian violence.

“These two children with the donkey didn’t know about the traditions,” said Father Metias Nasr, a Cairo-based priest with connections in areas south of the capital. “The Muslims there were angry about the last case of violence and wanted to create a new problem with these two children there.”

When the violence began, police presence increased significantly in the city. But rather than quell the unrest, police reportedly made matters worse for the Christians. After breaking up the crowd, officers detained 50 Copts and 10 Muslims.

A source told Compass that police arrested a disproportionate amount of Christians to create a false sense of equanimity and to pressure the Christians into “reconciliation” with the attackers so the Copts would not prosecute them. The arrested Christians have since been released.

In the two weeks since the attacks and looting, the increased police force in the village has harassed Copts through intimidation, “fines” and racketeering. Police have taken an estimated $50,000 from village Copts, the source said.

Once police lifted the curfew, Coptic shopkeepers returned to their stores to discover that they had been looted. Sources said the perpetrators were “supply inspectors,” local government inspectors who do quality control checks on goods. They gained access by smashing locks and doors of the shops.

The sources said supply inspectors plundered grocery stores, a poultry shop, an electronics store and a pharmacy.

According to Coptic weekly Watani, looters stole nearly $2,000 worth of goods from grocer Bishara Gayed. Another victim of the looting, an owner of a poultry shop who declined to give his name, blamed supply inspectors for running off with his stock.

A local clergyman condemned the violence.

“It is unreasonable that a mistake by some 14-year-old should lead to all that rampage,” a village Coptic priest known as Father Augustinus told Watani. “Something ought to be done to halt all this.”

 

Orphanage Bulldozed

Numerous instances of sectarian violence have struck Tayyiba in the last few months.

Last month a Coptic Christian was killed over a dispute with a Muslim who wanted to buy his house. Violence escalated, resulting in damaged storefronts, 48 arrests and injuries sustained by three Christians and a Muslim.

Such quarrels typically arise from land ownership issues. A Coptic source told Compass that Christians in Tayyiba are generally wealthier than their Muslim counterparts, often leading to resentment.

Tayyiba was stable at press time, though the town is considered to be continually in danger of religious violence flaring. This situation is common throughout Egypt, Fr. Nasr told Compass.

“The village is like anywhere in Egypt,” he said. “In every place in Egypt we can say that in one minute everyone can be destroyed by fanatics, sometimes through the encouragement of security [forces].”

The Coptic Church has faced recent difficulties in other Egyptian cities, with government officials attempting to obstruct their religious activities. On Wednesday (Nov. 19), city officials in Lumbroso, Alexandria destroyed an unfinished but recently furnished Coptic orphanage owned by Abu-Seifein Church and worth 6 million Egyptian pounds (US$1 million).

Officials claimed the building did not have a license, although church leaders said the demolition came on orders from the religiously zealous Islamic mayor. Ali Labib, former head of police and state security in Alexandria, in his two-year tenure as mayor has refused license applications for new church construction or rebuilding, said a Cairo-based Coptic priest who requested anonymity.

The priest said the orphanage was only able to obtain a license because it was issued before Labib’s tenure.

Islam is a growing presence in Egypt’s public sphere. While the government has attempted to crack down on extremists, Islamic civil groups that have drawn widespread support by offering cheap medical assistance and private lessons to school children include the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization with jihad in its credo that has been accused of violence.

The Muslim Brotherhood is well regarded by the average Egyptian, who equates the government with autocracy, corruption and repression, author and intellectual Tarek Heggy reportedly said. Over the last four decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has introduced its brand of fundamentalist Islam into Egyptian schools, mosques and media, he added.

Egypt’s ethnic Christians, known as Copts, belong to the Orthodox Church and number 12 million among the country’s 79 million inhabitants. There are smaller groups of Catholics and Protestants.  

Report from Compass Direct News