Nearly one-fourth of US adults get influenza vaccinations in pharmacy-based settings

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JAPhA study suggests demographic differences in where adults are immunized

Almost a quarter of adults in the U.S. get their annual influenza vaccinations in pharmacy-based settings, according to a paper published online in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

In the study, researchers accessed vaccination data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a database of information collected by CDC via telephone surveys of adults throughout the nation. Their sample included 28,954 respondents in 8 states and Puerto Rico who had reported getting an influenza vaccination in the prior 12 months. The researchers categorized vaccination settings as “doctor’s office,” “store” (pharmacy-based setting), and “other settings” (hospital, health department, clinic, health center, workplace, or school). They noted that pharmacists may have been immunizers at sites categorized as “other settings.”

The researchers found that 23.3% of survey respondents had received influenza vaccinations in pharmacy-based settings, second to doctor’s offices, where 37.5% had received influenza vaccinations. Among adults age 65 or older, 37.8% were vaccinated in pharmacy-based settings. The researchers note that one reason for this may be that Medicare no longer requires a physician’s order for its beneficiaries to get influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations from participating facilities. In contrast, young adults were more likely to get influenza vaccinations at work or in clinics or community centers.

Non-Hispanic whites were more likely to get influenza vaccinations in pharmacy-based settings compared to black, Hispanic, and multiracial respondents. The authors reported no significant gender difference regarding where respondents were vaccinated.


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