MSP backs move for law change on vaccinations
Alex Neil is backing Community Pharmacy Scotland’s campaign to change the law on NHS vaccinations.
The Airdrie MSP gave the organisation his support after learning first-hand how local pharmacies can help deliver a vital health service to the public more effectively.
Highly-qualified pharmacists in Scotland are currently unable to administer flu vaccinations for the NHS – despite being capable of doing so.
Unlike in England and Wales, the 1978 NHS (Scotland) Act prevents NHS vaccinations from being given in community pharmacies or by any other party to the NHS.
Mr Neil and other MSPs experienced administering the vaccine themselves during a special exhibition, using a medical dummy arm to demonstrate just how easy flu jabs could be delivered at local pharmacies.
The Airdrie politician said:“Delivery of flu jabs and other vaccinations at community pharmacies is a much-needed change to Scotland’s vaccination service that will help alleviate to the already hard-pressed GP services.
“The 40-year-old law no longer fits Scotland’s needs. We need new legislation that allows us to utilise the capable professionals Scotland already has in order for many more people to benefit from safe and easily accessible NHS vaccinations.
“I would encourage everyone to get the flu jab as it is your best defence against the flu and related illnesses.”
Community Pharmacy Scotland CEO, Harry McQuillan, added:“Many community pharmacies already provide private vaccination services. The unique accessibility of the community pharmacy network makes our place in vaccine provision a no-brainer; all that’s limiting the options for the NHS is a 40-year-old law that is no longer fit for purpose.”
Hands-on Mr Neil and Cunninghame South MSP Ruth Maguire took part in the vaccinations exhibition