Last week, APhA, along with four other national pharmacy organizations, submitted a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) with comments about the NVPO’s draft National Adult Immunization Plan.
Comments to NVPO from APhA, National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, National Community Pharmacists Association, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists focus on pharmacists’ role in increasing adult immunization rates within the plan’s framework.
In the 8-page letter, the organizations expressed their appreciation of NVPO’s continued work to promote collaboration among immunization stakeholders, including pharmacists, as a direct way to increase adult vaccination rates.
In particular, they applauded the plan’s recognition of the value pharmacists contribute toward addressing the immunization needs of the adult population. Comments also identified areas within the plan where improvements could be made for pharmacists and pharmacy organizations to have a greater impact, including reducing patient confusion on where and what vaccines patients can receive from pharmacists, and supporting pharmacy integration within health information technology—especially multidirectional access to electronic health records—for pharmacists to be aware of needed vaccinations for patients. The comments also address expanded responsibility for pharmacists in all care settings in areas of vaccine education, supply, and tracking, as well as development.
NVPO released the draft of the National Adult Immunization Plan in late February. The 5-year plan has many goals, including improving the access and infrastructure of adult immunizations; increasing community demand for adult immunizations; and fostering innovation in development and vaccine-related technologies.