WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) today hailed the release of a peer-reviewed study that found that community-based pharmacists and their teams administered more than 270 million COVID-19 vaccinations in community pharmacies alone through September 2022. Adding other practice settings, pharmacist-led teams administered more than half of all COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States.
Pharmacists have continued to protect their communities through the fall. Since the publication of this paper, the number of vaccinations increased to over 282 million through early November 2022.
The study also found that pharmacists cared for more than 5.4 million COVID-19 hospitalized patients, administered more than 42 million tests for COVID-19, and provided more than 100,000 monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19.
The study found that “using conservative estimates,” the pandemic interventions by pharmacists and members of the pharmacy team averted more than 1 million U.S. deaths, more than 8 million hospitalizations, and $450 billion in health care costs.
In total, pharmacists and pharmacy personnel provided more than 350 million clinical interventions to more than 150 million people in the form of testing, parenteral antibodies, vaccinations, antiviral therapies, and inpatient care, according to the report.
“This is the first peer-reviewed study which documents the incredible impact that pharmacy had on the health and well-being of our nation, across the entire spectrum of potential patient interventions,.” said Ilisa B.G. Bernstein, PharmD, JD, FAPhA, interim CEO and Executive Vice President of APhA. “There’s only one conclusion to draw from this impressive report - the work of pharmacists during the pandemic has been heroic.”
Among the study’s other findings:
- Pharmacy teams made significant strides to improving equity in vaccine distribution, by vaccinating a disproportionately greater share of non-Hispanic Asian and Hispanic or Latino persons.
- 70% of vaccinating pharmacies are located in communities with moderate-to-high social vulnerability
- Pharmacy teams filled a major gap in vaccinating their neighbors against influenza and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
With the current spikes in respiratory infections, APhA and America’s pharmacists encourage all Americans to be vaccinated against influenza and boosted against COVID-19 as soon as possible.
The report, along with other released reports that demonstrate that expanding the number of pharmacies with test-to-treat sites in medically underserved areas could increase access to COVID-19 treatment 39-fold, demonstrates the impact of engaging pharmacists and their teams. Of the 28,000 pharmacies in medically underserved areas, only 700 had test-to-treat capabilities.
The report’s data covers the time period of February 2020 to September 2022. It was published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, and authored by John D. Grabenstein, RPh, PhD, FAPhA, FASHP.
The full report may be viewed at https://www.japha.org/article/S1544-3191(22)00279-5/fulltex
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APhA Media Relations