Q&A: How Vaxserve enables vaccinations

As a specialty vaccines distributor with expertise in providing health data and technology solutions to the healthcare industry, Vaxserve helps retail pharmacies manage their immunization efforts. Drug Store News spoke to Ken Paulino, head of Vaxserve at Sanofi Pasteur, about the company’s capabilities.

Ken Paulino

Drug Store News: Tell us about VaxServe and what the company does.
Ken Paulino: Through a comprehensive and customer-centric approach, VaxServe works with retail pharmacies and other large, organized customers to help them successfully manage the clinical, financial and operational aspects of their community immunization programs. 

This year marks two decades of VaxServe’s partnership with pharmacies across the country, working together toward the shared goal of improving public health through vaccination.

DSN: What vaccines does your portfolio include, and what new vaccines are available? 
KP: Sanofi Pasteur manufactures a robust portfolio of innovative vaccines to help prevent the following diseases: cholera, dengue, diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae type B invasive disease, influenza (seasonal and pandemic), Japanese encephalitis, meningococcal disease, pertussis, polio, rabies, tetanus, typhoid fever, and yellow fever. 

VaxServe distributes Sanofi Pasteur vaccines, as well as vaccine products to help prevent hepatitis A; hepatitis B; human papillomavirus; measles, mumps and rubella; pneumococcal disease; rotavirus; shingles; and varicella.

In November 2019, Sanofi announced the approval of Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine. This vaccine will be available in fall 2020, in time for the 2020-21 flu season.

DSN: What resources are available to educate retailers about vaccines?  
KP: VaxServe offers multiple resources to keep retail pharmacists informed of the latest clinical information about vaccine products. Some examples are partnerships with professional organizations, publications and journal ads, and custom training and marketing tools to help pharmacists confidently engage in consumer discussions about vaccine safety and efficacy.

VaxServe also offers point-of-service educational material specifically geared toward customers to help them make educated decisions about immunization for themselves and their families.

DSN: What can retailers do to educate consumers about the importance of vaccines?             
KP: VaxServe has long supported retail pharmacy efforts to educate consumers about vaccine preventable disease and the importance of vaccination in protecting individual and public health. 

Retail pharmacies, typically with multiple locations across geographies, are well positioned to engage and educate large numbers of consumers about the role of vaccines in protecting public health. To this end, VaxServe provides pharmacies with consumer focused educational resources about the impact of vaccine preventable diseases, including potential complications in older adults and other select groups, as well as clinical information about vaccine safety and efficacy. With these resources, pharmacies are able to help facilitate consumer understanding about the role of vaccines in protecting public health.

DSN: How will you help retailers get consumers to return to pharmacies to get vaccines, especially with influenza likely to coincide with another COVID-19 outbreak this fall? 
KP: As COVID-19 continues to spread, Sanofi is doing its part, which includes not only developing vaccines and treatments, but also keeping the public informed about the work underway. The company is committed to supporting patients, healthcare workers and healthcare authorities as we face this unprecedented health crisis. More information about the company’s response to COVID-19 is available on our website. 

DSN: What is the state of travel vaccines going forward?  
KP: Sanofi expects continued reduction in travel vaccines due to travel restrictions all around the world. Uptake of travel and other endemic vaccines were down due to travel restrictions related to COVID-19 in the first quarter of 2020. 

DSN: How do you perceive VaxServe can help retailers when a COVID-19 vaccine is available?
KP: VaxServe has begun and will continue to support retail pharmacies through changes brought about by the COVID-19 global pandemic. For example, VaxServe is providing point-of-service educational material to increase consumer understanding of early symptom differentiation.