A new study published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association shows that pharmacy-based immunization services have increased influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations by millions since immunizations became more accessible in pharmacies.

All the data researchers used came from 2006 through 2010, a time when changes in immunization policy led to a significant push to offer vaccination services in pharmacies. The researchers studied the data to determine whether more widespread availability of pharmacy-based immunizations had actually increased vaccination rates beyond national trends, as opposed to shifting immunization services away from other providers.

In examining the data, the researchers found that pharmacy-based immunization services had increased significantly during 2006-2010. In 2010, pharmacy-based immunization was available in 97 percent of counties, up from only 36 percent of counties in 2006. Adult influenza vaccination rates increased from 40 percent in 2006 to 49 percent in 2010, and adult pneumococcal vaccination rates grew from 28 percent in 2006 to 35 percent in 2010. Additionally, the researchers estimate that six million additional influenza immunizations and more than three million pneumococcal immunizations are given each year because they are available at pharmacies.

These new findings are in alignment with another study that came out in 2017—by Avalere and NACDS researchers—which found that “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.”

These studies and more are being featured by the American Disease Prevention Coalition – a coalition of which NACDS is a Steering Committee Member. The Coalition is pursuing enhancements to state policies to improve patients’ access to pharmacist-provided vaccinations.