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With adult and adolescent vaccination rates below national goals, this study of more than six million vaccinations administered in more than 7,500 Walgreens pharmacies across the United States identifies a potentially important public health impact pharmacies can make by providing vaccines during convenient times that expand access to particular groups of people.
Analyzing data on 6,250,402 vaccines administered at the pharmacy chain over the course of a year, researchers found 31 percent were provided during off-clinic hours: 17 percent were provided on weekends, 10 percent on weekday evenings and 3 percent on federal holidays. Younger, working-aged, healthy adults, in particular had higher odds of accessing a variety of vaccinations during off-clinic hours when traditional providers are not likely available. Specifically, patients had significantly higher odds of off-clinic vaccination if they were younger than 65 years of age, male, resided in an urban area and did not have any chronic conditions.
The authors conclude allowing patients to seek and receive vaccinations at times that are most convenient to them, often when medical offices are closed, could measurably increase immunization rates in the United States. They call for expanding the ability of pharmacists to administer all vaccines in all states by standing orders coupled with expanded hours of operation.
Vaccinations Administered During Off-Clinic Hours at a National Community Pharmacy: Implications for Increasing Patient Access and Convenience
By Jeffery A. Goad, PharmD, MPH, et al
University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Note: Three of the four co-authors are employees of Walgreen Co; Dr. Goad serves on the speaker's bureau for Merck and Co. Inc.
September/October 2013 Annals of Family MedicineAmerican Academy of Family Physicians
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Immune System / Vaccines category page for the latest news on this subject.
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19 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/265937>
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