Online Program

Integrating Pharmacies into Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Response Planning

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Thomas Fitzgerald, MPH, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Immunization Services Division (ISD), Office of the Associate Director for Adult Immunization and Influenza, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA
Samuel Graitcer, MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Yoonjae Kang, MPH, Health Services Research and Evaluation Branch, Immunizations Services Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
introduction: Vaccination remains the best protection from influenza infection.  To maximize the impact of a pandemic influenza vaccination program, vaccination must be initiated as rapidly as possible.  Because there are over 230,000 immunization-trained pharmacists in the US and over 90% of the US population lives within 5 miles of a pharmacy, comprehensive pandemic vaccine response planning with pharmacists has the potential to greatly expand the number of  pandemic vaccination providers and improve vaccine access for the public.  To assess pandemic vaccine response readiness, CDC collects preparedness activity information from state and local immunization programs (IP).

methods: We examined IP data from the 2012 and 2013 annual IP evaluations and from an assessment conducted during CDC’s 2013 response to influenza A (H7N9) to analyze pharmacies’ integration into public health pandemic vaccine planning.

results: In the 2012 annual IP assessment of 64 IP, 78.7% of 61 responding IP included pharmacists in their list of potential pandemic vaccine providers and 80.4% included pharmacies in their overall plan, though only 8.20% reported exercising those plans with pharmacies. In the May 2013 H7N9 assessment, 87.2% reported that pharmacists were included in their list of pandemic providers, though in the 2013 annual assessment, only 21.3% reported formalizing agreements with pharmacies to provide pandemic vaccinations through memorandums of agreement (MOAs).

conclusions: Most IP have considered pharmacists as potential vaccinators at some level in their pandemic planning, but there is a need for further planning such as conducting joint vaccination exercises and formalizing plans through MOAs with pharmacies.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the need for integrating pharmacies into pandemic planning List the ways in which immunization programs have developed relationships with pharmacies as it relates to preparedness Discuss challenges faced by public health agencies when collaborating with pharmacies for pandemic planning Identify opportunities for improved collaboration between public health immunization programs and pharmacies in pandemic preparedness

Keyword(s): Emergency Preparedness, Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a pandemic influenza fellow at CDC on the Pandemic Vaccine Task Force and have experience in public health preparedness at state and local levels for 3 years in Massachusetts and Rhode Island prior to working at CDC.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.