Ontario Making It Easier to Get Your Travel Vaccines
More Vaccines to be Available at Pharmacies Across the Province
As the holiday travel season approaches, Ontario is making it easier and more convenient for people to protect themselves before travelling, by expanding the number of vaccines available in pharmacies across the province.
Starting December 15, Ontario pharmacists will be able to administer additional vaccines to protect against 13 preventable diseases. This includes common travel vaccines for diseases such as Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, and Rabies. In addition, the flu vaccine will continue to be administered by pharmacists, free of charge.
For many patients, pharmacies are a convenient alternative to doctors' offices, travel clinics or other clinics. Pharmacies are located throughout the province, offering extended hours of operation at night and on weekends.
Making it easier for Ontarians to access vaccines supports the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which provides patients with faster access to the right care; better home and community care; the information they need to live healthy; and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.
- In Ontario, the Pharmacy Act allows pharmacists to administer certain specified substances by injection or inhalation to anyone five years of age and older.
- Ontarians can continue to receive vaccines that are part of the province’s publicly funded immunization program from their primary care provider free of charge (e.g., family doctor, pediatrician or nurse practitioner).
- Pharmacists can also administer vaccines in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.
- Pharmacists in Ontario are regulated by the Ontario College of Pharmacists, which is responsible for ensuring that pharmacists have the knowledge, skill and judgement to safely administer vaccines. As of December 31, 2015, there were 15,113 pharmacists and 3,835 pharmacy technicians registered with the Ontario College of Pharmacists.
“Pharmacists across the province play an important role in helping Ontarians stay healthy through immunization. Thanks to their success providing people the flu shot, we are now inviting them to deliver the additional vaccines being announced today. This is another way our government is making it easier for people to access the services they need.”
Dr. Eric Hoskins
“Immunization plays a key role in keeping people healthy by providing a safe and effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. This change will allow pharmacists to administer more vaccines. It will make it easier and more convenient for Ontarians to get the vaccines they need to guard against disease and maintain good health.”
Dr. David Williams
“The Ontario Pharmacists Association is very pleased with today’s announcement, which leverages pharmacists’ skills, training and knowledge to improve Ontarians’ access to travel vaccines, and a select number of other vaccines that will help patients stay healthy here at home and abroad. For the past four years, Ontarians have trusted pharmacists to administer their flu shots. By enabling pharmacists to provide a wider number of vaccines, and broadening pharmacists’ scope of practice, we can further contribute to a sustainable healthcare system and help drive increased vaccination rates, while helping patients manage this important area of their health.”
“Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada commends the Ontario government on today's announcement, which recognizes the vital role that our member pharmacists and pharmacies can play to ensure that when Ontarians travel away from home, they can do so protected by medically essential vaccines, provided at their neighbourhood pharmacy.”
Justin J. Bates