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Newcastle pharmacist urging residents to keep on top of vaccinations

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A Newcastle pharmacist is urging residents to keep abreast of their vaccination shots following a rise in COVID and influenza cases in the Hunter.

In January, facemasks returned to the John Hunter Hospital, as large numbers of people presented at the city’s main emergency department, with a new strain of coronavirus rearing its ugly head.

Since then, JN.1 has been detected in and around Newcastle, prompting a batch of fresh warnings.

Newcastle pharmacist Anthony Piggott.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild) and member Anthony Piggott, who oversees six chemists across the region – from Hamilton to Branxton, believe now is not the time to be lax with your health.

“With everyone back at work and back at school after the break, it’s important to make sure your family’s vaccinations are up to date,” the Piggotts Pharmacies owner said.

“After NSW Government reforms late last year, we – and other community pharmacies across Newcastle – can now administer a wider range of vaccines, including shots for influenza, measles, whooping cough and shingles.

“We also now have the new COVID vaccine, XBB 1.5, which was recently approved by the TGA.

“For any Newcastle locals, who are overdue for a shot, they can walk into any pharmacy at any time – Monday to Sunday – and get a jab in minutes.”

Guild NSW branch president David Heffernan agreed.

“Backing community pharmacies to provide more frontline healthcare services, including administering a wider range of vaccines, is good news for patients across New South Wales,” he said.

“Thanks to state government reforms last year, it’s never been easier for parents.

“They can access the vaccines their kids need to stay healthy, from a community pharmacist they know and trust.

“It’s vital for people to remain vigilant.”

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