Pharmacists are contributing to expanded immunisation coverage globally, thereby reducing illness and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases. This is a finding from a new report published recently by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), titled ‘Advocating Expansion of the Pharmacist’s Role in Immunisation: A Focus on Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Booster, Covid-19 and Meningitis Vaccinations’.
The report provides intelligence from 36 countries around the world on pharmacists’ current role in vaccination services. The new data show that their role has expanded since the publication of a previous FIP report in 2020. This increase has been driven in part by the need for urgent and mass vaccination as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the report authors say.
Key findings include:
78 per cent of countries surveyed allow vaccines administration at community pharmacies, and a third of countries allow pharmacists to prescribe some vaccines.
The most common driver for vaccination in pharmacies was pharmacists’ desire to provide vaccination services.
Legislative, regulatory and advocacy efforts have contributed to expanding pharmacists’ role.
In addition, vaccination authority policy development, stakeholder engagement and acceptance of pharmacists’ role, logistics development, and education and training were highlighted as being necessary if pharmacists’ role in vaccination services is to be leveraged further.
“Evidence of pharmacists’ impact on improving vaccination coverage globally is growing. The Covid-19 pandemic has provided further affirmation of the accessibility and availability of pharmacists as front-line providers of people-centred care,” said Mr Christopher John, FIP lead for data and intelligence.”
The report is available at www. fip.org/file/5137.