Pharmacists Can Partner with Community Members to Address COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

Although pharmacists have largely relied on patients coming into their facility, they should begin going out into the community to build trust in COVID-19 vaccines.

In addition to addressing patients’ concerns about COVID-19 vaccines while they are picking up prescriptions or asking questions at the pharmacy, Health Mart Systems Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer Nancy Lyons, BSPharm, MBA, CDE, said pharmacists can partner with prominent community members to build public trust in the vaccines.

Patient concerns about COVID-19 vaccines are understandable, Lyons said in an interview with Pharmacy Times. She also discussed the concept of the “movable middle,” which is the group of people who have some vaccine hesitancy but may be willing to get vaccinated if they are provided with accurate information and data.

Although pharmacists have largely relied on patients coming into their facility, Lyons said they should begin going out into the community to build trust in COVID-19 vaccines. Working with trusted community members such as religious leaders, community center leaders, or others may be a way to “borrow” their trust, Lyons said.