MSP backs move for law change on vac­ci­na­tions

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News -

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

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