Assessing Pharmacists' Attitudes regarding Delivery of the Pandemic Influenza Vaccine in British Columbia Journal Articles uri icon

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abstract

  • Background: In response to the clear indication that the second wave of the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 would arrive in North America during fall 2009, the Ministry of Health Services in British Columbia proposed expanding pharmacists' scope of practice to include administering vaccinations. This change in regulations was prompted by the anticipated need to provide millions of doses of the pandemic (H1N1) influenza vaccine in a short period of time. Objectives: To determine pharmacists' willingness and preparedness to deliver vaccines, especially the pandemic (H1N1) influenza vaccine, as well as their preferences related to providing this service. Methods: A survey was developed to elicit pharmacists' opinions concerning administration of vaccines. Staff pharmacists and pharmacy managers and owners licensed to practice in British Columbia were invited to complete the online survey. The survey results were analyzed descriptively. Results: In total, 151 pharmacists participated in the study. The majority of respondents were men (84 [55.6%]) and most had practised for at least 5 years (108 [71.5%]). Most respondents (123 [81.5%]) were interested in administering vaccines to their clients, including the pandemic (H1N1) influenza vaccine (113 [74.8%]). In general, respondents preferred to vaccinate adults rather than children and understood the importance of documentation, reporting of adverse events and reporting to their local health authorities. More than half of participants (84 [55.6%]) felt that they were prepared to provide vaccine services in time for the pandemic (H1N1) vaccination program in fall 2009. The majority of these were prepared to offer vaccination services during daytime hours (91 [74.0%]), and some were willing to do so during the evenings (43 [35.0%]) and on weekends (40 [32.5%]). Ninety (73.2%) of the participants thought they had adequate space to administer vaccinations and maintain patient confidentiality and 111 (90.2%) indicated that they had adequate space to store the vaccines in their refrigerators, but only 82 (66.7%) had adequate storage space in their freezers. Conclusion: Pharmacists in British Columbia were willing to offer vaccination services to their clients. Given this willingness and a general level of preparedness, pharmacists who have undergone appropriate training should be allowed to vaccinate against seasonal and pandemic influenza and to offer pneumococcal vaccine in their pharmacies.

publication date

  • November 2010