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Comparison of Pharmacists and Primary Care Providers as Immunizers

Posted Mar 27 2009 9:36am

This week my paper on Pharmacists as vaccinators was accepted for publication by the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Benefits.  Co-authored with John Fontanesi, Jan Hirsch, Sarah Lorentz, and Debra Bowers, “ Comparison of Pharmacists and Primary Care Providers as Immunizers ” examines whether pharmacists are productive and efficient vaccinators.  The abstract of the paper is below.  The full text of the paper is available here.

This study examines the potential role of “alternative community immunizers,” specifically pharmacists, in providing immunization services. A convenience sampling of almost 700 adults eligible for vaccinations was taken from 15 ambulatory care settings and 11 pharmacies in San Diego, California between 2006 and 2008. The results of the study found that patient characteristics and beliefs were similar between primary care and pharmacies, but pharmacies proved more consistent in following safety protocols; had lower unit costs; and were more efficient, with greater productivity. We conclude that pharmacies combine the best immunization practices of routine scheduled primary care visits and mass influenza vaccination clinics, but gaps still exist in pharmacies’ ability to effectively transmit immunization records securely and provider willingness to embrace these “alternative immunizers.

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