Pharmacists now allowed to give MMR vaccines as Govt attempts to curb measles outbreak

Source: 1News

Kiwis will be able to receive MMR vaccines from pharmacies across the country, the Government announced today as it attempts to curb the measles outbreak. 

Trained pharmacist vaccinators will be able to deliver the vaccines to people 16 and older in about 450 pharmacies. 

The Government began looking at allowing pharmacies to deliver MMR vaccines at the beginning of September, with National's Shane Reti saying "we should be making use" of vaccination-qualified pharmacists. 

"Vaccination-qualified pharmacists are currently able to vaccinate for flu injections but are not reimbursed for vaccines such as the measles vaccine," he said at the time.  

Today, Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter said it was "vital we have pharmacists and DHBs working together on a joined up approach to immunisation".

"Pharmacies are convenient, locally trusted locations for many people and will help get more people protected from measles.

"We’re seeing some encouraging progress around new case numbers, but the work of pharmacist vaccinators is an added tool in the fight," she said. 

Between January 1 and October 29, 2019, there have been 1944 confirmed cases of measles, with 1569 of those in the Auckland region.