European community pharmacists call for a greater role in vaccination

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The PGEU General Assembly adopted today a new Position Paper on the role of community pharmacists in vaccination.

Community pharmacists contribute to vaccination strategies in various ways, being ideally positioned at the heart of communities to provide information, advice and treatments to reduce the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases. Pharmacists also engage in public awareness campaigns on vaccination, address vaccine hesitancy and contribute to increasing vaccination coverage.

“Enabling pharmacists to vaccinate improves accessibility, convenience for patients and most of all overall vaccination rates. The extended opening-hours of pharmacies and a strategically distributed network of highly qualified professionals offer a unique opportunity to expand vaccination services. 15 countries in Europe have so far successfully implemented pharmacist-led vaccination programmes and we count on others to follow suit for the benefit of patients and public health,” according to PGEU President Koen Straetmans.

The PGEU Position Paper suggests actions which can be taken to maximise the contribution that pharmacists make to tackling vaccine-preventable diseases and improving vaccination coverage, such as:

  • Expanding pharmacy practice with the implementation of pharmacist-led or pharmacy-based vaccination programs, with appropriate support from national health systems.

  • Including pharmacy-based vaccination programs in national health promotion plans.

  • Integrating pharmacists in national vaccination strategies, including communication campaigns and actions to combat disinformation and misinformation about vaccines.

Press Release - The role of community pharmacists on vaccination