Blogs: The Reinvented Pharmacist

CDC Report Notes Pharmacist's Key Role in Flu Vaccinations

Published Online: Friday, July 8, 2011
Retail stores with pharmacies are playing a strong and growing role in the influenza vaccination effort, according to the June 17, 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. According to the report, “For adults overall, a doctor’s office was the most common place (39.8%) for receipt of the 2010-11 influenza vaccine, with stores (eg, supermarkets or drug stores) (18.4%) and workplaces (17.4%) the next most common,” the CDC report found. (See our story at

Further, “The proportion of adults vaccinated in stores (18.4%) during the 2010-11 season increased in each age group compared with the 1998-99 and 2006-07 influenza seasons, when 5% and 7% of adults, respectively, were vaccinated in stores. This increase likely resulted partly from changes in state laws allowing pharmacists to administer influenza vaccinations to adults, and subsequently, more pharmacists offering influenza vaccinations,” according to the CDC Report.

So, in my opinion, this is just one more piece of clear evidence that pharmacists are playing an increasing role in preventive health care. As state laws allow pharmacists to administer more vaccines or administration to younger age individuals, we should see immunization rates increase.

We should also see the public recognizing the pharmacist as an integral health team member. I think this expanded role has been good for our profession and society—despite some of the drawbacks voiced by pharmacists about the workload. (See my editorial on this subject at

Do you agree?
Fred Eckel, RPh, MS, Editor-in-Chief of Pharmacy Times
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This blog focuses on what our Editor-in-Chief sees as the future of pharmacy.
Author Bio
Fred Eckel, RPh, MS, is the Editor-in-Chief of Pharmacy Times, a position he has held since 2002. Mr. Eckel is a professor at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He serves as executive director of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists.

In this blog, Eckel will provide commentary on relevant issues impacting pharmacists and pharmacy professionals, including the merging of pharmacy benefit managers, the implications of health care reform, the conversion of major drugs from prescription to over-the-counter, trends in pharmacy careers, and opioid abuse. He will also discuss legislative issues that impact pharmacists, and comment on the evolving role of the pharmacist.
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