Message to PARO region:
Unlike other countries, in the United States (U.S), pharmacists have the right to vaccinate. Since annual influenza vaccination is vital to prevent possible pandemic, such increased role of pharmacists in the U.S. currently have a large impact on the public health.
To understand the impact of pharmacists on immunization, I analyzed the 2009 National H1N1 Flu Survey (NHFS), a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults interviewed during the 2009-2010 flu season from the Center of Disease Control (CDC). Self-reported measures include whether one received a flu vaccination and the location of that vaccination. Explanatory variables included sociodemographic factors, health beliefs, and healthcare factors. I reported descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regressions, all weighted to reflect the sampling frame of the NHFS as it is represented in the poster. I have found that most adults continue to receive their flu vaccinations from a physician or hospital (42%), but some seek non-traditional locations such as pharmacy (14%), clinic (17%), and workplace (17%). Age, poverty level, employment type, and race were all associated with non-traditional vaccination locations. For example, those who had college education were more likely to go to pharmacy for influenza vacation than going to the traditional physician’s office. My hypothesis for this result was that those who had higher education does not have preconception about pharmacists having the authority to vaccinate. The results demonstrated that there are social patterns to who chooses non-traditional vaccination locations. I also learned that it is important for administrators in these locations to understand their consumer population to further reduce barriers to vaccination and improve the relevance of community sites and workplaces for health promotion.
In the U.S. seasonal influenza vaccination is an important public health measure to promote health and prevent illness and lost productivity. However, many adults in the U.S. experienced significant barriers to vaccination due to a lack of health insurance, usual source of care, or time to schedule an appointment with a physician. However, as of year 2014, there was a healthcare reform in the U.S. where the president Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which allowed greater population in the U.S. to have health insurances. Through this recent healthcare reform in the U.S., I would expect more people to be inclined on getting vaccination. Since my study is representation of pre-ACA, I think the result will significantly change in next few years as more people have the health insurance to get immunized in various settings. I am looking forward for CDC to release the 2014 survey on influenza and H1N1 vaccination so that I can analyze and compare my baseline study to see the trend in vaccination.
I hope such movement and increased role of the pharmacists in the U.S. may inflect possibility of increasing pharmacists’ roles in other countries. Pharmacists should not just dispense medicine in the corner. The pharmacists’ roles should be more diverse and should create an impact in the society. You can change and create more opportunities through your passion. After all, the pharmacists in the U.S. had the authority to immunize through the passionate voice of pharmacists.
PARO Secretary 2013-2014