Community Pharmacy: Center of Immunization Services - Episode 10

Coadministration of Flu Vaccine with Routine Immunizations

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Coadministration of the flu vaccine with other immunizations traditionally offered during flu season that pharmacies should continue to encourage.

Ed Cohen, PharmD, FAPhA: A couple of things that we’ve touched on briefly during our discussions have to do with opportunities to coadminister with the flu vaccine. We’ve seen, in the literature, that we can coadminister the flu vaccine with COVID-19. If somebody comes in for a COVID-19 shot, they can get a flu shot, or possibly other vaccinations. Liz, are you promoting coadministration with the flu vaccine, including the combinations of the flu and pneumonia, the flu and shingrix, and the flu and COVID-19? That’s it. John, please touch on this from an independent community perspective, which is a priority in both environments. Let’s turn it to Liz first.

Liz Oler, PharmD: Coadministration is always very important. We look at it as “flu plus 2.” When you have somebody in your pharmacy, they’re ready to get a shot. Sometimes they have to get themselves worked up or plan for a day off or whatever they feel they need to do—it’s a great opportunity to talk to that patient about other immunizations that they may be eligible for. Our pharmacists screen every patient for different disease states that may qualify them for other immunizations. They review the patient history for immunizations and then make a recommendation to the patient. The most common recommendations that we see are with the flu, pneumonia, shingrix, and tetanus. Those are the biggest ones. We also are seeing an increase in the recommendation for HPV [human papillomavirus], which is given to expanded age groups for that immunization. Of course we’re going to look at COVID-19. We have a heavy emphasis to make sure that if somebody comes in to get a flu shot but hasn’t received their COVID-19 vaccination, then we’ll have a conversation with them about that piece and make that recommendation. It’s always a great opportunity. In pharmacies, most pharmacists can give any patient any immunization can be given with a flu shot, so we’re not limited to the top 4 or 5 I listed. It’s a great opportunity to take care of patients and get them more up to date on immunizations if they’ve gotten behind.

Transcript edited for clarity.