The pharmacist as public health advocate

Enhancing immunization rates

Chasity Shelton, Stephan Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Immunization is fundamental to lessening the occurrence of vaccinepreventable infectious diseases but is thwarted by low vaccination rates throughout different regions of the United States and across various patient strata. In the mid-1990s, pharmacists were recruited to help bolster vaccination coverage rates by providing an accessible, convenient source for immunization education and administration, as well as helping to facilitate the vaccination efforts of other healthcare providers. Pharmacists have taken on this challenge, with the assistance of pharmacy technicians and students. As advocates of public health through immunization, pharmacists have implemented numerous strategies to build public awareness, identify patient vaccination needs, and provide vaccination services. These efforts have been rewarded by improved vaccination rates. Collaboration with local immunization coalitions and other community groups has allowed pharmacists to reach underserved and in-need patient populations. The public has now embraced pharmacists as immunizers, as evidenced by the substantial, evergrowing proportion of influenza vaccinations administered by pharmacists each year. Educational programs have trained more than 175,000 pharmacists in the fundamental, mechanistic, and practical aspects of immunization. The need remains to involve additional pharmacists in immunization advocacy, expand vaccine offerings available to pharmacists, and equalize pharmacist recognition as immunizers across states and healthcare plans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDrug Topics
Volume156
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 15 2012

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Pharmacists
Immunization
Public Health
Vaccination
Pharmacy Students
Health Personnel
Human Influenza
Communicable Diseases
Vaccines
Delivery of Health Care
Education

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science

Cite this

The pharmacist as public health advocate : Enhancing immunization rates. / Shelton, Chasity; Foster, Stephan.

In: Drug Topics, Vol. 156, No. 8, 15.08.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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