Pharmacists have been in the frontline providing essential health services to contain the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As we approach peak flu season, pharmacist delivered vaccinations will be vital for maintaining the health of the Australian community. Across jurisdictions and around the world there is growing understanding for an allowance to be made for justified variations in practice, which would apply for the period of the current crisis.
Where a pharmacist may have received immunisation training prior to adoption of the APC Standards for the Accreditation of Programs to Support Pharmacist Administration of Vaccines, recognition of that training and authorisation to vaccinate rests with the States and Territories and cannot be determined by the APC. In recognition of the urgent need to take care of patients while balancing public safety, and following discussions with stakeholders, we advise the following variations regarding the requirements for the Standards for the Accreditation of Programs to Support Pharmacist Administration of Vaccines.
1. Standard 2.0: Requirement for participants to hold a current first aid certificate, equivalent to a Senior First Aid (Workplace level 2) or the unit of competency HLTAID003 Provide First Aid and a current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate.
Advice: In recognition of the additional demand on constrained resources, the requirement for participants to hold a current first aid certificate and a CPR certificate to enrol in pharmacist immunisation training, delivered in accordance to the APC Vaccination Standards, is temporarily waived. However, on completion of training, pharmacists must comply with the relevant State and Territory requirements with regard to First Aid or CPR training or other requirement for immunisation authorisation.
2. Standard 4.0: Face to face delivery
Advice: In consideration of social distancing and limiting face-to-face interactions, the requirement for Face to Face delivery is suspended. Delivery of pharmacist immunisation courses via online modules, live webinars and other non-contact modalities is encouraged. Pharmacist immunisation education providers must continue to ensure that delivery is designed using the principles of adult learning including effective assessment of learning objectives.
3. Standard 4.3: Participants must be provided with sufficient opportunity to practice the skill of vaccination administration under adequate supervision &
Standard 5.3: Supervision is provided for participants to practice the skill of vaccination administration.
Advice: First time immunisers will need to spend a suitable period of time in a pharmacy premises or other approved vaccination site (according to the relevant State or Territory legislation) and administer vaccination to a patient (according to the relevant State or Territory legislation) while under the supervision of an authorised health professional (not limited to pharmacists). Agreements with authorised health professionals at vaccination sites to observe and assess participant competency to vaccinate is appropriate. This means that assessment can also be done online or completed at the participants workplace or other available approved vaccination site under the supervision of an authorised health professionals. A trainer may also opt to visit the participant’s workplace to assess his/her competency in the administration of vaccines.
We have made these variations to assist the profession to serve the Australian community all it can at this time. Any queries or concerns can be made to our Accreditation Team by contacting us on +61 2 6188 4288 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Executive Officer