Published: 27 October 2021

Legislative Council, Tuesday 26 October, 2021


(1) Prior to the election, then health minister, Sarah Courtney released a statement committing to enable pharmacist immunisers access to NIP vaccines and to undertake a scope of practice review for pharmacists:

(a) What is the proposed timeframe for this review; and

(b) What stage is the review at?

(2) Regarding access to NIP vaccines, I note that the timing of implementation of this is important for the timing of vaccine orders and access as evidenced by the role pharmacists and pharmacies have played in delivering COVID-19 vaccinations:

When will access to NIP vaccines for pharmacies be progressed?


(1) In answer to question (1), as would be appreciated, the Government's focus necessarily remains on responding to COVID-19. This is likely to remain the case for many months.

While we are committed to a review of Tasmanian pharmacists' scope of practice, it will need to utilise specialised human resources within the department likely to include the Chief Pharmacist, the Chief Medical Officer and legal services, and will need input from key external stakeholders such as pharmacy and medical representative groups.

The Government is committed to conducting a high-quality, evidence-informed review. The disruptive effect of COVID-19 means there remains many significant competing priorities to maintain public health and safety.

Accordingly, the review is likely to be undertaken in the second half of 2022 and finalised in 2023. It is a significant piece of work and I want to ensure and the minister wants to ensure it is appropriately informed and to the highest standard.

(2) In answer to question two, we are working towards allowing pharmacist immunisers to be authorised to administer NIP influenza vaccine to all people 65 years and older who are NIP eligible in the 2022 flu season. The department is currently working through the logistical considerations prior to being able to finalise a timeline.


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