Pharmacists as immunizers: a survey of community pharmacists’ willingness to administer adult immunizations
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Background Adult immunization rates worldwide fall below desired targets. Pharmacists are highly accessible healthcare providers with the potential to increase immunization rates among adults by administering vaccines in their practice setting. Objective To determine the attitudes of community-based Canadian pharmacists with respect to expanding their scope of practice to include administration of immunizations. Method An internet-based survey was emailed to community pharmacists across Canada. The survey was piloted through focus groups for qualitative feedback, tested for content validity, and test–retest reliability prior to dissemination. Results There were 495 responses to the survey. The majority (88 %) agreed that pharmacists as immunizers would increase public access, improve rates (84 %), and be acceptable to the public (72 %). However, only 68 % agreed that pharmacists should be permitted to immunize. The majority of respondents (90 %) agreed that certification in vaccine administration should be required for pharmacists to administer vaccines. Pharmacists identified education, reimbursement, and negative interactions with other providers as barriers to pharmacists administering vaccines. Conclusion Canadian pharmacists are willing to expand their scope of practice to include immunization. However, implementation requires professional development and certification in vaccine administration.
KeywordsCanada Immunisation Pharmaceutical services Pharmacist Vaccination
The authors would like to thank Donna MacKinnon-Cameron of the Canadian Center for Vaccinology for her statistical support, the Canadian Pharmacists Association for assistance with survey administration, and Tania Alia for her assistance with manuscript preparation and review.
This work was supported by the Capital Health Research Fund.
Conflicts of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare in relation to this work.
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