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APhA celebrates 20 years of immunizing pharmacists


WASHINGTON -- The American Pharmacists Association earlier this week released a video commemorating the 20th anniversary of its Pharmacy-based Immunization Certificate Training Program and the important role pharmacists are playing within the “immunization neighborhood,” which involves the collaboration, coordination and communication among immunization stakeholders.

The video celebrates the work and contributions of thousands of immunization champions and the impact pharmacists have made on their communities. APhA created the video to recognize its more than 20 years of work in helping pharmacists assume expanding immunization and public health roles within their communities, highlighting the  knowledge, skills and accomplishments of thousands of pharmacists.  

“At APhA, we’re focused on gaining consumer access and coverage for pharmacists’ patient-care services,” stated Thomas Mehighan, EVP and CEO APhA. “The immunization programs we’ve developed over these 20 years do precisely that, and play a major role in advancing public health.”

Pharmacists are authorized to administer vaccines in every state and there are currently about 300,000 trained across the United States. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, these pharmacists now administer roughly 25% of all influenza vaccinations.  

Pharmacists’ authority to administer vaccines recommended by the CDC beyond influenza is expanding, making the work of pharmacy-based immunizations a year-around activity. Depending upon the state, pharmacists are able to administer various vaccines across the lifespan.

In a letter to pharmacists, the CDC acknowledged the contributions that APhA has made in the rise of patient vaccinations. “APhA commitment to training and collaboration has led to increasing access to vaccination services through expanded scopes of practice for immunizing pharmacists.”

Pharmacists also serve as information sources for their communities and collaborate with other members of the immunization neighborhood to improve the quality and accessibility of care. “Having pharmacists as partners in the effort to protect the public against vaccine-preventable diseases has increased access, improved immunization rates, and provided a springboard for other patient-care services,” noted APhA president and immunizing pharmacist, Kelly Goode.

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