Ontario expands list of vaccinations Canadian pharmacists can administer

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Ontario expands list of vaccinations Canadian pharmacists can administer

By Michael Johnsen - 12/02/2016

TORONTO -- Beginning Dec. 15, pharmacists in Ontario will be able to add 13 vaccinations to the list of immunziations they can administer to their patients as part of the province's new strategy, Immunization 2020, which focuses on improving access to immunizations, including leveraging the professional and convenient care that pharmacists offer to help improve vaccination rates.

"We applaud the Ontario government for recognizing the value pharmacists bring by allowing them to administer these vaccinations," stated Jeff Leger, EVP pharmacy and healthcare, Shoppers Drug Mart. "Flu vaccination rates have increased in the province since pharmacists have been able to immunize; allowing them to administer additional vaccines in the future is an important next step in helping to protect Ontarians' health both here and abroad."

The vaccines added to the repertoire include:

  • Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG);

  • Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib);

  • Hepatitis A;

  • Hepatitis B;

  • Herpes Zoster (Shingles);

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV);

  • Japanese Encephalitis;

  • Meningococcal disease;

  • Pneumococcal disease;

  • Rabies;

  • Typhoid;

  • Varicella; and

  • Yellow Fever.

These vaccines can be administered in participating pharmacies to anyone five years of age and older.

Not all vaccines require a prescription from a primary care provider, Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced. In some cases, patients will be able to consult directly with their pharmacist and receive the vaccine at their pharmacy.

However, vaccines that are part of Ontario's publicly funded immunization program are free if administered by a primary care provider. Patients who choose to receive vaccines from a participating pharmacist will have to pay for the vaccine.

The publicly funded flu vaccine will continue to be available at no cost for all Ontarians from their primary care providers and in participating pharmacies.

Ontarians have embraced the opportunity to get their flu vaccination from pharmacists.  When that service first became available during the 2012-2013 flu season, more than 250,000 Ontarians were vaccinated by pharmacists.  During the most recent flu season, 2014-2015, that number more than tripled to approximately 764,000 Ontarians, Shoppers Drug Mart reported.


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