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Pharmacists are well positioned in communities to provide vaccine-related services. However, variation across the scope and content of available training programmes means they often require support to do so effectively, according to the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). That support is now available in the form of a new reference guide published recently by the FIP, the Federation has said. 

The FIP vaccination reference guide, Knowledge and Skills to Support Professional Development and Inform Pharmacy Education in Vaccination, has two main foci. The first is on ensuring that undergraduate education and training are designed in such a way that the future workforce is ready to provide vaccine-related services upon graduation; and the second is on the currently active workforce, with the intention to support comprehensive continuing professional development that advances the knowledge and skills of practising pharmacists who provide preventive healthcare services, including immunisation against vaccine-preventable diseases. 

A feature of the publication is that it ties FIP’s 21 Development Goals to the policy enablers required for workforce and education to transform vaccination. It also provides useful tables, built from existing FIP resources, that outline the skills, techniques, quality assurance measures and procedures that pharmacy students and practising pharmacists will need to acquire as they develop their competence to provide vaccine-related services. 

“The guide is intended to support practising pharmacists, continuing professional development providers, educators and trainers,” said Dr Catherine Duggan, FIP Chief Executive Officer. “It will directly support national pharmacy organisations and FIP members with education and training needed as continuing professional development for routine vaccination service delivery. In addition, this guide supports academic institutions and FIP’s academic institutional members in developing and delivering education for undergraduates who will then be vaccination-ready upon registration.” 

Publication was supported by unrestricted funds from GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals.