TEENAGERS in Queensland can now receive vaccines for highly contagious diseases from their local pharmacist.
From tomorrow, teens aged 16 and over will be able to visit their local chemist and be vaccinated for influenza, pertussis (whooping cough) and measles without needing their parent’s consent.
Previously, only GPs could vaccinate people under the of 18.
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Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the changes would make it easier for teens and their parents.
Mr Miles said the amendments would allow teenagers 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.”
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.