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Research Article

Vol. 15 No. 1 (2017)

Immunization programs: The Role of Pharmacists in British Columbia, Canada

January 11, 2016


PURPOSE: In 2009, pharmacists in British Columbia were given the right to become certified in vaccine-administration. While the uptake of this new activity was impressive, there is still a need to better understand current and expected involvement of pharmacists in immunization activities. Our objective was to identify pharmacist and pharmacy characteristics associated with being certified to immunize. METHODS: The cover letter and web-link to a 42-item survey was emailed to British Columbia Pharmacy Association (BCPhA) registered pharmacists. Consent was provided electronically. Respondents’ demographic and practice site characteristics were summarized with descriptive statistics. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine pharmacist and pharmacy characteristics associated with being certified to administer. FINDINGS: The current analysis was restricted to community pharmacists (n=551) of the 663 pharmacists who responded. Overall, 71.3% (393/551) of respondents were certified to administer. The most commonly provided vaccine was influenza (464 [84.4%]). The majority (445[80.8%]) were also interested in administering non-vaccine injectables. Pharmacists who had been in practice for fewer years were more likely to be certified. Job position was related to certification; both managers and owners were more likely than staff to be certified. With respect to pharmacy type, chain and foodstore pharmacies were both more likely than independent pharmacies to employ certified pharmacists. CONCLUSION: The majority of community pharmacists are involved in immunizations and this involvement is associated with specific pharmacist and pharmacy characteristics. This information can be used to better encourage more pharmacists to become immunizers. KEYWORDS: Pharmacists, vaccination, primary prevention, community health services.


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