Pharmacist-led education may boost pneumococcal immunization awareness, rates

JAPhA study: Education campaigns for providers and patients may also decrease disease rates

Pharmacist-led pneumococcal immunization education efforts may increase vaccination rates and decrease pneumococcal disease, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. In the paper, a team from the University of Rhode Island (URI) College of Pharmacy describes two education campaigns, one for immunization providers and one for patients, which took place throughout the state from November 2013 through July 2015.

For the provider education campaign, the team developed a vaccination pathway covering pneumococcal vaccine schedules, indications, contraindications, and adverse effects for the PPSV23 and PCV13 vaccines, and included information about pneumococcal disease. The team attended 22 events for health professionals and presented the pathway at 121 pharmacies throughout the state.

The patient education campaign included a vaccination wallet card for patients to record their immunizations and a handout bearing information about pneumococcal vaccination and disease. The study team and the URI Pharmacy Outreach Program educated patients at more than 100 public health events. The campaign also included a public service announcement.

At study’s end, the researchers found that pneumococcal vaccination throughout the state increased 3.9%. The postintervention rate per 1 million people dropped by 21 cases compared with the pre-intervention rate as well. Furthermore, 92% of the immunization providers who responded to surveys about the sessions they attended agreed or strongly agreed that their knowledge of identifying the appropriate patient populations for pneumococcal immunization had improved, and 83% said they intended to apply their knowledge in practice.