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The role of community pharmacy-based vaccination in the USA: current practice and future directions

Authors Bach A, Goad J

Received 7 March 2015

Accepted for publication 22 April 2015

Published 1 July 2015 Volume 2015:4 Pages 67—77


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling

Video abstract presented by Albert T Bach.

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Albert T Bach, Jeffery A Goad

School of Pharmacy, Chapman University, Irvine, California, USA

Abstract: Community pharmacy-based provision of immunizations in the USA has become commonplace in the last few decades, with success in increasing rates of immunizations. Community pharmacy-based vaccination services are provided by pharmacists educated in the practice of immunization delivery and provide a convenient and accessible option for receiving immunizations. The pharmacist's role in immunization practice has been described as serving in the roles of educator, facilitator, and immunizer. With a majority of pharmacist-provided vaccinations occurring in the community pharmacy setting, there are many examples of community pharmacists serving in these immunization roles with successful outcomes. Different community pharmacies employ a number of different models and workflow practices that usually consist of a year-round in-house service staffed by their own immunizing pharmacist. Challenges that currently exist in this setting are variability in scopes of immunization practice for pharmacists across states, inconsistent reimbursement mechanisms, and barriers in technology. Many of these challenges can be alleviated by continual education; working with legislators, state boards of pharmacy, stakeholders, and payers to standardize laws; and reimbursement design. Other challenges that may need to be addressed are improvements in communication and continuity of care between community pharmacists and the patient centered medical home.

Keywords: immunization, pharmacy practice, pharmacists, continuity of care

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