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APhA CEO Blog

Have you had your flu shot? Are you giving them?

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December 05, 2012

If not, now is the time. If you are an immunizing pharmacist, let us know how it is going.

Here’s the big picture from CDC: More than one-third of adult vaccines are given at either work sites or pharmacies. And pharmacists are the health care personnel (HCP) with the highest rate of influenza vaccination this season. The good news arrives in time for National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 2–8, 2012).

CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, noted in a December 3 press briefing that “work sites and pharmacies are major sources of vaccination for adults” with more than one-third of vaccines being given there.

Also, CDC analyzed data from an Internet panel survey of HCP last month to estimate how many were getting vaccinated during this flu season.

By occupation, influenza vaccination was highest among pharmacists (88.7%), followed by physicians (83.8%), nurses (81.5%), nurse practitioners/physician assistants (73.3%), and other clinical professionals (76.7%), and lowest among assistants or aides (43.4%) and nonclinical support staff (54.5%). By work setting, HCP influenza vaccination coverage was highest in hospitals (83.4%) and lowest in long-term care facilities (48.7%).

The most common main reason that unvaccinated HCP didn’t intend to get an influenza vaccination was that they didn’t want one, and the second most common main reason was a belief that the vaccination was ineffective. So CDC concluded/recommended that educating HCP with the lowest rates of vaccination about the importance, effectiveness, and safety of annual influenza vaccination may increase overall vaccination coverage.

The data show you’re involved in a big way. APhA encourages pharmacists and their staffs to continue getting immunized. It’s worth a shot!

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