Nova Scotia pharmacists to give flu shots this fall

Regulation includes other drugs, such as travel vaccines

This fall, Nova Scotians will be able to get free flu shots at their local pharmacies.

Nova Scotia is joining New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia in giving pharmacists the authority to give flu shots.

Nova Scotia's regulations also enable pharmacists to administer other drugs, such as travel vaccines, which will be paid for by customers. The regulations also give pharmacists the authority to order and interpret tests to help manage a person’s drug therapy, such as blood tests to monitor and adjust the dose of blood thinners.

“Pharmacists are the most accessible health-care professionals for the general public, especially in rural communities," said Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson. "By giving pharmacists the authority to give flu shots, we're bringing better care sooner to Nova Scotia families by making it easier for them to get vaccinated, stay healthy and avoid spreading influenza to others."

The Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists is developing standards of practice for giving vaccines and drugs, and for ordering and interpreting lab tests. Once they are in place, pharmacists with proper training may choose to offer these services.

The college will also work with Dalhousie University's Faculty of Pharmacy to ensure training is available for pharmacists who need it.

Legislation giving pharmacists the authority to give the vaccination became law on May 28.

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