The NSW Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord and Newcastle MP Tim Crackanthorp have visited a Hamilton pharmacy today to make a Labor election pledge for Hunter Pharmacies.

The party is promising under the plan, that from September 1, 2019, it will expand in-pharmacy vaccinations, currently available for the flu, to cover Diptheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough and a second Measles vaccine.

The age limit for the pharmacy vaccinations would remain at 18.

Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp believes the benefit of the vaccines being readily available at pharmacies are two-fold, with both the expense of a GP visit and the timeliness being an added factor behind the party’s proposal.

“It will enable [Newcastle Residents] to pop into the chemist and get vaccinated, it will be hugely beneficial in that manner,” Mr Crackanthorp said.

The party also believes the proposal will have a flow-on effect in helping to raise the State’s lower than acceptable vaccination rates.

Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord pointed out the Hunter had one of its worst years on record in 2017, with more than two-thousand confirmed cases of Influenza, while Pertussis (Whooping Cough) was also on the rise.

“The worrying thing this year is that we’ve already had 62 cases of Pertussis [in the Hunter]… while another worrying trend is the 3 people diagnosed with Mumps,” Mr Secord said.

Labor believe by putting this proposal in place, it would complement the current vaccination programs, and reach out to those who normally don’t get vaccinated.

Tim Crackanthorp, Pharmacy-Owner Anthony Piggott and Walt Secord discuss the proposal.