New laws which lower the age pharmacists are allowed to administer vaccinations have been welcomed by a Griffith pharmacist.
Pharmacists across the state are now allowed to administer flu jabs to 10-year-olds and up after an amendment was made to the state's Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008.
Previously, those receiving a flu vaccination from a pharmacist had to be 16 or older.
Pharmacist at Pat Zirilli Amcal Chemist Leanne Foley said the move will help the community better prepare for the upcoming flu season.
"It will be a lot busier [at the pharmacy] but it will increase that herd immunity," Ms Foley said.
"We have started vaccinating now but April and May is the best time to be vaccinated."
Ms Foley said the pharmacy has increased their supply of vaccines ahead of this year's flu season, but measures being undertaken to reduce the transmission of coronavirus - such as following proper hand hygiene techniques, reducing contact with vulnerable community members such as the elderly and isolating when unwell - will help to reduce the potential transmission of cold and flu heading into winter.
However, the impact of COVID-19 has been felt on the pharmacy, with an increased demand for items such as hand sanitisers and masks, but Ms Foley said "there's no need for panic" and the pharmacy plans to adjust to the demand and changing safety regulations by increasing distribution via the online front and delivery services as the situation develops.
State health minister Brad Hazzard said the move was to provide families with more options to protect their children as the current coronavirus pandemic looks to continue into the traditional flu season.
"Last year was the longest flu season on record," Mr Hazzard said.
"While the flu vaccine won't combat COVID-19, it will help reduce the severity and spread of flu, which can lower a person's immunity and make them susceptible to other illnesses."
NSW Health's chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said this year's vaccine has been tailored to flu strains posing the greatest risk to the public.
"Each year in NSW we have hundreds of flu-related deaths and many of those who die were infected by the people they know and love who weren't vaccinated," Dr Chant said.
"Not only do you risk your own life by not getting vaccinated against flu but you can potentially spread the infection to others more vulnerable, like children and the elderly."
Around 2.5 million flu vaccine doses funded by the state government were distributed across the state in 2019, with the number expected to increase by at least 100,000 vaccines ahead of the 2020 flu season.
Pharmacy Guild of NSW president David Heffernan welcomed the decision and said the move will allow families to have more choice when seeking a vaccination.
"It also brings NSW into line with other jurisdictions that have taken this step," Mr Heffernan said.
"We also continue to urge the inclusion of community pharmacies in the distribution of the National Immunisation Program vaccines for at-risk patients."
People over the age of 65 as well as pregnant women, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders and those with high-risk medical conditions can be vaccinated for free by GPs under the program, with the vaccine also available to children between the age of six months and five years.