Abstract: What Do Pharmacists Think about Immunizing Adolescents? (43rd National Immunization Conference (NIC))

2 What Do Pharmacists Think about Immunizing Adolescents?

Monday, March 30, 2009: 11:20 AM
Lone Star Ballroom C1
Sharon Humiston
Cynthia Rand
Peter G. Szilagyi
Crystal Taylor
Christina Albertin
Allison M. Kennedy
Laura P. Shone

Over the past few years several new vaccines have been recommended for administration to adolescents. While most adolescents are expected to receive these vaccines at physicians' offices, a substantial proportion of the adolescent population does not regularly seek preventive medical care and are unlikely to be immunized unless immunizations could be offered in other settings.

To evaluate pharmacists' opinions about providing immunizations to adolescents in pharmacies.

A 21-item electronic survey about immunizations was sent by the American Pharmacists' Association to 6428 member and non-member pharmacists around the US in August 2008 and was followed by 2 reminder e-mails. No incentive was offered.

685 pharmacists (11%) completed the survey. 560 (82%) respondents indicated they work in a state that allows pharmacists to immunize, with 365 (60%) having completed an immunization certificate program, of which 262 (72%) currently provide immunizations. Among the latter, 92 (35%) personally immunize adolescents <18 years of age and 221 (84%) personally immunize young adults ages 18-20 years. The youngest median age of customers who these pharmacists would feel comfortable immunizing is 12 years. Among pharmacists who currently provide immunizations (N=262), the proportion who work in a pharmacy where vaccines are provided to adolescents <18 years of age varies by vaccine type: 49% influenza, 27% Tdap, 27% hepatitis B, 26% HPV, 24% meningococcal conjugate, and 16% varicella vaccine. Of all 685 pharmacists who completed the survey, 282 (43%) indicated that they thought most parents would be very supportive of their adolescents being vaccinated by pharmacists while an additional 311 (48%) thought most parents would be somewhat supportive.

The majority of pharmacists responding to the survey have completed an immunization certificate program, and most of those respondents currently provide immunizations. Overall, most respondents believed that parents would support their adolescents receiving vaccinations from pharmacists.