Pharmacist immunisation in WA

Registered pharmacists who have successfully completed immunisation education requirements can administer vaccines to specific client groups in approved settings, in accordance with the Structured Administration and Supply Arrangement (SASA) requirements.

From 1 January 2024, Commonwealth government will implement the National Immunisation Program Vaccinations in Pharmacy (NIPVIP) (external site) program.

The NIPVIP Program allows eligible patients to access free National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines in a community pharmacy, with no out-of-pocket costs.

This program expansion supports the wider immunisation program in Western Australia (WA) by providing vaccinations to eligible cohorts, thus increasing access to vaccination for the WA community.

Authority to administer vaccines

Under Part 6 of the Medicines and Poisons Regulations 2016 (external site), the Chief Executive Officer of Health (Department of Health) has issued Structured Administration and Supply Arrangements that authorise registered practitioners to provide vaccinations. A SASA is a written direction that authorises a health practitioner to administer or supply a medicine to any patient meeting the specified circumstances, and the conditions under which a health practitioner is authorised to administer or supply the medicine.

The SASAs supporting pharmacist immunisation are:

  • pharmacists administration of vaccines by pharmacists
  • pharmacists administration of COVID-19 vaccines in pharmacies.

It is the responsibility of the Pharmacist to ensure that they meet the SASA criteria under which they are administering vaccines. Pharmacists can contact their training provider to access additional training if required.

Approved vaccines

These SASAs enable the following government-funded WA Immunisation Schedule vaccines to be administered by a registered pharmacist trained in immunisation, when the conditions of the SASAs are met at suitably staffed and equipped premises in Western Australia:

  • Therapeutic Goods Administration registered SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE products, any age
  • Government funded vaccines for persons 5 years of age and over (as indicated in the WA Immunisation Schedule).

Immunisation provider information and resources

Pharmacists should refer to immunisation provider information and resources to understand WA Health processes and resources available, such as cold chain management, vaccine ordering, important mandatory reporting of vaccines administered, adverse events following immunisation, and vaccine incidents or wastage.

Fees and charges

From 1 January 2024, under the National Immunisation Program Vaccinations in Pharmacy (NIPVIP) program, participating pharmacies can receive a payment of $18.85 per vaccination for the administration of NIP vaccines in a pharmacy setting, for individuals aged five years and over.

This program will not cover the costs of state-funded or private vaccines. Whilst Pharmacists cannot charge for the cost of a state-funded vaccine, they may choose to charge an administration fee.

Pharmacists who decide to charge an administration fee for providing state-funded vaccines to eligible individuals are required to inform them that free vaccination services are available through bulk-billing general practitioners.

Persons who are not eligible for government-funded vaccines, may access pharmacy-procured private vaccine, and the pharmacist may charge a fee that includes the vaccine and administration service.

Many private health insurance companies provide pharmacists free influenza vaccines so their members can access the fee-free service.

Last reviewed: 08-12-2023