Washington, D.C. – An article published in Clinical Therapeutics describes a study – by Avalere and National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) researchers – that found “overall, as states moved to allow pharmacists to administer influenza immunizations, the odds that an adult resident received an influenza immunization rose, with the effect increasing over time.”
The study was conducted by NACDS Senior Economist Laura Miller, PhD, and by Avalere Health’s Edward M. Drozd, PhD, and Michael Johnsrud, PhD.
“Overall, as states moved to allow pharmacists to administer influenza immunizations, the odds that an adult resident received an influenza immunization rose, with the effect increasing over time,” the researchers found. “These findings suggest that pharmacies and other nontraditional settings may offer accessible venues for patients when implementing other public health initiatives.”
The study found that state-level policy changes that allow for pharmacists to administer influenza immunizations were associated with a nearly 8% increase in seasonal influenza immunization rates within six years after these policy changes over the years 2003 to 2013. Over this period, overall seasonal influenza immunization rates rose 25% among those surveyed (from 32% to 40% immunized).
Research has shown that lack of convenient access has been identified as a major barrier affecting whether an individual will receive the immunization.
“Today, many people find it surprising that it was not until 2009 that pharmacists were allowed to administer the flu shot in all 50 states,” said NACDS President & CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “Now, since 2015, pharmacists have been allowed to administer at least three adult vaccines in all 50 states. That is tremendous progress, and research and anecdotal evidence supports the public-health merits of improving patients’ access to these highly educated health professionals.”
Avalere posted an online article to raise awareness of the study.