Special Issue "Pharmacists as Immunizers: The Role of Pharmacies in Promoting Immunization Campaigns and Counteracting Vaccine Hesitancy"

A special issue of Pharmacy (ISSN 2226-4787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Vaccines represent fundamental public health interventions to mitigate the epidemiological and economic burden generated by communicable disorders, in terms of 1) outcome-related, 2) behavior-related productivity gains, and 3) community externalities. Vaccines offer both direct and indirect protection against infectious disorders (the so-called “herd immunity effect”). Despite their importance, several parents choose not to immunize their children, due to the rising phenomenon of anti-vaccination movements that divulge vaccine-related “fake news” and “post-modern, post-factual truths”. Within this framework, from a public health perspective, community pharmacies play a vital role in that pharmacists can act as immunizers, improving vaccine-related health literacy and vaccination coverage rates, as well as counteracting vaccine hesitancy. This Special Issue welcomes both original and review papers addressing the important topic of community pharmacists as crucial actors in the promotion of vaccination campaigns. Randomized trials and systematic reviews of the literature with meta-analysis are especially welcome.

Dr. Nicola Luigi Bragazzi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmacy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Community pharmacies
  • Public health
  • Vaccination campaigns
  • Vaccine literacy
  • Vaccine hesitancy

Published Papers (5 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Editorial
Pharmacists as Immunizers: The Role of Pharmacies in Promoting Immunization Campaigns and Counteracting Vaccine Hesitancy
Pharmacy 2019, 7(4), 166; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy7040166 - 05 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1773
Abstract
Vaccines represent fundamental public health interventions aimed to counteract or, at least, partially mitigate the severe epidemiological and economic burden generated by communicable disorders, in terms of (i) outcome-related, (ii) behavior-related productivity gains, and (iii) community externalities in developed settings as well as [...] Read more.
Vaccines represent fundamental public health interventions aimed to counteract or, at least, partially mitigate the severe epidemiological and economic burden generated by communicable disorders, in terms of (i) outcome-related, (ii) behavior-related productivity gains, and (iii) community externalities in developed settings as well as in developing countries. Despite their importance, several parents choose not to immunize their children due to the rising phenomenon of anti-vaccination movements that divulge vaccine-related “fake news” and “post-modern, post-factual truths”. Vaccine hesitancy represents a threat that can seriously jeopardize the implementation and success of vaccination campaigns. Within this framework, from a public health perspective, community pharmacies can play a vital role in that pharmacists can: (i) act as immunizers (vaccine distributors, educators, facilitators and administrators), (ii) improve vaccine-related health literacy and vaccination coverage rates as well as (iii) remove barriers and obstacles to the access to healthcare settings offering immunization services and (iv) counteract vaccine hesitancy. Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Helping Québec Pharmacists Seize the Vaccination Service Opportunity: The Pharmacy Best Practice Workshops
Pharmacy 2021, 9(1), 51; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy9010051 - 03 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1807
Abstract
Vaccinations are a safe and effective way to protect against infectious diseases. The World Health Organization estimates vaccines have saved more lives than any other interventions and every year about two to three million deaths are averted worldwide through immunization. To improve vaccination [...] Read more.
Vaccinations are a safe and effective way to protect against infectious diseases. The World Health Organization estimates vaccines have saved more lives than any other interventions and every year about two to three million deaths are averted worldwide through immunization. To improve vaccination coverage, pharmacists have been increasingly involved in immunization roles in their communities—as advocates, educators, and immunizers. Community pharmacy-based vaccination services have increased both in the number of immunization providers and the number of sites where patients can receive immunizations. In Canada, health care is under provincial legislation—and so, there are distinct differences in scope of pharmacist practice across the country. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, in Québec, Canada’s second-largest province, pharmacists did not have the authority to administer vaccines. To help prepare pharmacists in Québec to become immunizers, we developed and deployed a series of accredited workshops. In these facilitated workshops, pharmacists were able to share best practices that may lead to providing effective vaccination services, identify common competency gaps, discuss effective patient communication skills, and determine how to target the most vulnerable population groups. Participants were also asked to evaluate the workshop. Our results indicate the evaluation was very reliable in measuring participant satisfaction (Cronbach’s α = 0.94) and pharmacists commented that the workshops’ learning outcomes exceeded their expectations, and the topics covered were relevant and applicable. The evaluation also asked participants to identify weaknesses of training, so future educational interventions can be planned accordingly. We believe this work will contribute to the continual growth and advancement of the pharmacy profession in Canada. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Review
Protecting the Herd: Why Pharmacists Matter in Mass Vaccination
Pharmacy 2020, 8(4), 199; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy8040199 - 26 Oct 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1864
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing. The unprecedented challenges worldwide implore the urgent development of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. Globally, pharmacists have been delivering important public health services as part of the COVID-19 response. It remains to be seen what role [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing. The unprecedented challenges worldwide implore the urgent development of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. Globally, pharmacists have been delivering important public health services as part of the COVID-19 response. It remains to be seen what role they will play once a vaccine is available. This review examines herd immunity and the potential role of the pharmacy profession in mass vaccination against COVID-19, particularly within the Australian context. Aim: A literature review was conducted to review the global development of COVID-19 vaccines, and the Australian healthcare workforce capability and existing policy for mass vaccination and the potential role of the pharmacist. Method: ScienceDirect, Scopus, The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Wiley Online Library, PubMed, and Google Scholar were used to search for relevant literature using keywords COVID-19, vaccines, immunisation, herd immunity, pandemic, pharmacist and Australian healthcare. Results: A large portion of the literature was journal articles, and information from governmental and international bodies such as the World Health Organisation were often referenced. Over 20 million Australians need to be immunised through vaccination or acquire immunity through natural infection for the country to achieve herd immunity for COVID-19. When examining state and territory pandemic plans, pharmacists are underutilised. Modifying legislation to allow pharmacists to administer approved COVID-19 vaccines will enable a trained and skilled workforce to be deployed to increase the rate of mass vaccination. Conclusion: In preparation for a successful COVID-19 vaccine, the Australian Government must consider various elements in their vaccination policy. This includes the estimated herd immunity threshold, methods of vaccine delivery, vaccine clinic locations, staffing arrangements and training, and strategies for vaccine prioritisation. Pharmacists can and should play a key role in the roll out of mass COVID-19 vaccination. Full article
Review
The Implementation of the Professional Role of the Community Pharmacist in the Immunization Practices in Italy to Counteract Vaccine Hesitancy
Pharmacy 2020, 8(3), 155; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy8030155 - 25 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1401
Abstract
In Italy, the National Vaccinal Prevention Plan has renewed the commitment of the Italian government to promote a culture of vaccination practices in the general population and especially among healthcare professionals, considering it as a strategic goal. The search for useful tools and [...] Read more.
In Italy, the National Vaccinal Prevention Plan has renewed the commitment of the Italian government to promote a culture of vaccination practices in the general population and especially among healthcare professionals, considering it as a strategic goal. The search for useful tools and techniques to promote a layered and widespread information network capable of restoring a climate of trust and confidence towards vaccination, leads us to reflect on the possibility, already adopted in numerous countries, of enlisting community pharmacies in immunization campaigns also in Italy, positively implementing the professional role of the community pharmacist in immunization. The pharmacist is often the first point of contact with both the patients and the public, both for the relationship of trust and confidence that binds him to the citizens, and for the ease of access in relation to the widespread distribution of community pharmacies in the territory, the availability of prolonged operating hours, the absence of need for appointments and positions near/outside of healthcare facilities. Currently, in Italy the role of the community pharmacist is limited to counseling and providing advice and information regarding the benefits and/or any risks of vaccination practices, but does not imply a direct engagement in immunization programs, rather a collaboration to avoid straining and overwhelming the vaccination centers. Some recent questionnaire-based studies have shown that Italian community pharmacists have attitudes that are favorable to vaccinations, even though their knowledge is rather limited. Together with expanding the engagement of community pharmacists in immunization programs, their educational gap should be addressed in order to significantly improve and enhance the protection of the public health. Full article
Review
The Role of Hospital and Community Pharmacists in the Management of COVID-19: Towards an Expanded Definition of the Roles, Responsibilities, and Duties of the Pharmacist
Pharmacy 2020, 8(3), 140; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmacy8030140 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5598
Abstract
Since late December 2019, a novel, emerging coronavirus was identified as the infectious agent responsible for a generally mild but sometimes severe and even life-threatening disease, termed as “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19). The pathogen was initially named as “2019 novel coronavirus” (2019-nCoV) and [...] Read more.
Since late December 2019, a novel, emerging coronavirus was identified as the infectious agent responsible for a generally mild but sometimes severe and even life-threatening disease, termed as “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19). The pathogen was initially named as “2019 novel coronavirus” (2019-nCoV) and later renamed as “Severe Acute Respiratory Coronavirus type 2” (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 quickly spread from the first epicenter, the city of Wuhan, province of Hubei, mainland China, into neighboring countries, and became a global pandemic. As of July 15th 2020, the outbreak is still ongoing, with SARS-CoV-2 affecting 213 countries and territories. The coronavirus has caused a dramatic toll of deaths and imposed a severe burden, both from a societal and economic point of view. COVID-19 has challenged health systems, straining and overwhelming healthcare facilities and settings, including hospital and community pharmacies. On the other hand, COVID-19 has propelled several changes. During the last decades, pharmacy has shifted from being products-based and patient-facing to being services-based and patient-centered. Pharmacies have transitioned from being compounding centers devoted to the manipulation of materia medica to pharmaceutical centers, clinical pharmacies and fully integrated “medical-pharmaceutical networks”, providing a significant range of non-prescribing services. Moreover, roles, duties and responsibilities of pharmacists have paralleled such historical changes and have known a gradual expansion, incorporating new skills and reflecting new societal demands and challenges. The COVID-19 outbreak has unearthed new opportunities for pharmacists: community and hospital pharmacists have, indeed, played a key role during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that a fully integrated, inter-sectoral and inter-professional collaboration is necessary to face crises and public health emergencies. Preliminary, emerging evidence seems to suggest that, probably, a new era in the history of pharmacies (“the post-COVID-19 post-pharmaceutical care era”) has begun, with community pharmacists acquiring more professional standing, being authentic heroes and frontline health workers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop