Trained pharmacists in rural and regional areas will soon be able to give measles and whooping cough injections, NSW Nationals Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said.

Acting on a NSW Health recommendation to expand pharmacist vaccination beyond the flu jab, the policy will make immunisation more accessible in our communities.

“People tell us access to a GP can be difficult at times whether you live in the city, country or on the coast, so expanding pharmacy vaccinations gives people more choice,” Mr Anderson said.

“People aged 18 and over can already pay to have their flu jab at pharmacies and soon people 16 and over can do the same and get other jabs too, such as measles.”

Pharmacists who undertake an approved course can give diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (dTpa) shots and measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), as well as flu shots.

“Australia has wiped out measles and the only reported cases are from unvaccinated people who acquire it overseas and then infect others locally,” Mr Anderson said. “We hope new grandparents, carers of infants and partners of pregnant women also make use of the additional services to protect newborn babies from whooping cough.”

In 2018-19, the NSW Government will spend a record $22.75 million on state-wide immunisation programs.

People eligible for free Government-funded vaccines, including children under five, Aboriginal people, those with chronic illnesses, pregnant women and people over 65 will still need to get those at their GP, so they can receive a health assessment at the same time.