Survey Shows Community Pharmacists Are Mobile, Ready to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines

A recent survey showed that 86% of community pharmacists plan to offer the COVID-19 vaccines once they become available, whereas another 12% responded that they want more information to determine their decision.

A recent survey conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) showed that 86% of community pharmacists plan to offer the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines once they become available, whereas another 12% responded that they want more information to determine their decision.

“Community pharmacists are already doing immunizations, so this is a natural expansion of the health care services they’re already providing,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, MBA, PharmD, in a press release.

Of the 799 community pharmacists surveyed between August 18 and 27, 2020, a significant majority reported that they already provide immunization services, even at locations outside of the pharmacy. In total, 70% of the community pharmacists surveyed reported administering vaccines outside of the store, with 81% providing immunizations at local businesses, 54% at community centers, 53% at long-term care facilities, and 30% at places of worship. Other locations where community pharmacists noted administering vaccines included schools, factories, and prisons.

“A big takeaway from the survey is that community pharmacists are highly mobile. Their reach goes far beyond the brick and mortar of their pharmacy and most are more than willing to go wherever they can do the most good,” Hoey said in the press release.

Of the community pharmacists surveyed, approximately 80% reported that they operate in locations with fewer than 50,000 residents, and almost 40% operate in communities with fewer than 10,000 residents. Currently, access to vaccines in small towns and rural communities is an area of great difficulty for public health officials.

Hoey explained that this is a problem that community pharmacists are able to solve.

“Community pharmacies are concentrated in places where there are not very many other pharmacies or health care providers,” Hoey said in the press release. “Penetrating those medically underserved communities will be a challenge for public health officials. What this data shows is that community pharmacies must be part of the solution.”

REFERENCE

Survey Shows Community Pharmacies Ready and Able to Deliver COVID-19 Vaccines. Alexandria, VA: National Community Pharmacists Association; August 31, 2020. ncpa.org/newsroom/news-releases/2020/08/31/survey-shows-community-pharmacies-ready-and-able-deliver-covid-19 Accessed August 31, 2020.