APhA Issues Revised Guidelines for Pharmacy-based Immunization Advocacy and Administration
As the pharmacist role in raising the rate of immunizations continues to expand, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) has revised its Guidelines for Pharmacy-based Immunization Advocacy and Administration. The Guidelines cover five areas of focus: Prevention, Partnership, Quality, Documentation, and Empowerment.
Originally approved in 1997, the APhA Board of Trustees reviewed, updated, and approved these Guidelines in 2012 and, on January 26, 2019, after receiving input from the APhA–APPM Immunizing Pharmacists SIG, and following a public comment period. The guidelines are periodically reviewed as the health care arena changes.
The revised guidelines call for pharmacists to protect their patients’ health by being vaccine advocates; to collaborate, coordinate and communicate with immunization stakeholders to protect the community from vaccine-preventable diseases and to ensure quality by achieving and maintaining competence to administer immunizations.
The guidelines also state that pharmacists should document immunizations fully, report clinically significant events using the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), educate patients about immunizations and respect patients’ rights as well as their beliefs.
“The guidelines provide a framework for the implementation and delivery of immunization services within pharmacy practices and pharmacists’ role as a valued member of the immunization neighborhood and improve the health of their communities,” according to Mitchel Rothholz, APhA Chief Strategy Officer. “
The guidelines have influenced the content and direction of APhA’s numerous education, advocacy, practice support, and scientific programs related to the role of pharmacists in immunizations. These activities have assisted the profession to develop collaborative relationships with other health professionals and to highlight the pharmacist’s position within the health care system.
For more information on the Guidelines for Pharmacy-based Immunization Advocacy and Administration, read the full document here.