Pharmacist’s Immunization Program
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Registered Florida pharmacists
and UF Pharmacy students
Arthur E. Wharton, RPh, MPA
University of Florida College of Pharmacy
Phil Barkley, MD
LIVE – varies
Why would pharmacists want to vaccinate their patients? Let’s look at some of the statistics for adults in the United States.
- From 3,000 to about 49,000 influenza-related deaths per year
- About 90% of these deaths are among adults 65 years and older
- There were 9,419 cases of acute hepatitis B in 2009
- 43,500 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in 2009, including about 5,000 deaths
- 85% of IPD and nearly all IPD deaths are among adults
- Over 27,000 cases of pertussis reported in the United States in 2010
- 6,640 of these cases are among adults, 4% of which are hospitalized
- About 1 million cases of zoster annually in the United States
From these statistics one can determine that a drastic need exists for patients to have greater access to vaccines. Pharmacists can provide that access.
Since 2010 pharmacists in Florida have administered influenza vaccine to adult patients. On Friday, April 6, 2012 the Governor of Florida signed into law House Bill 509 allowing pharmacists to administer two new vaccines, pneumococcal and varicella zoster vaccines. In addition the Bill authorizes administration of an epinephrine auto-injection under certain circumstances. The legislation was designed to address the “gap” in the number of eligible patients who are not immunized. Pharmacists can now immunize adult patients for influenza and pneumonia by protocol with a physician, to immunize shingles vaccine pursuant to a written prescription and a physician protocol. The Bill also allows pharmacists to administer epinephrine using an auto injector for unforeseen allergic reactions within the framework of a practitioner protocol.
Pharmacists who wish to administer vaccines to adults under this section must be certified to administer such vaccines pursuant to an educational program approved by the Board of Pharmacy in consultation with the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine. The program shall, at a minimum, require that the pharmacist attend at least 20 hours of continuing education classes approved by the board. The program shall have a curriculum of instruction concerning the safe and effective administration of such vaccines, including, but not limited to, potential allergic reactions to such vaccines.
The University of Florida College of Pharmacy Pharmacist Immunization Program complies with Florida Statute 465.189 and with The Florida Board of Pharmacy Rule 64B16-26.1031. Pharmacists, who are currently registered pharmacist in the State of Florida, after successful completion of this course and paying a specified fee, may apply to the Florida Board of Pharmacy for certification to administer immunizations in the State of Florida.
The goal of this course is to provide pharmacists in the State of Florida with knowledge of and skills in, immunology, the epidemiology of influenza, indications for vaccination and implementation and initiation of a pharmacy-based immunization program to make immunization delivery a part of pharmacy practice. Emphasis will be on influenza but the course will cover many aspects of preventable diseases.
The course consists of twelve (12) hours of self-study and eight (8) hours of active participation. The self-study section of the program will include, but not be limited to such subjects as basics of vaccinology, topics about influenza, legal issues, vaccine logistics, introduction to injections, management of adverse reactions, and blood-borne pathogens. The live course will be a practicum on injections and CPR training. At the conclusion of the course you will be certified to administer CPR.
- Relate the principles, scheduling, precautions, and contraindications for influenza vaccination
- Describe the epidemiology of influenza and other vaccine-preventable diseases
- Develop a screening technique to identify patients needing influenza immunization
- Demonstrate protocol development with a physician in compliance with Florida state law, including record keeping, emergency procedures, and reporting requirements
- Evaluate influenza vaccine information resources
- Discuss the various safety procedures required of a pharmacy-delivered immunization services
- Describe methods of compensation for immunization services
- Explain the storage and handling requirements of influenza vaccines
- Demonstrate techniques of vaccine administration for adults
- Demonstrate a basic understanding of blood-borne pathogens
- Explain common modes of their transmission and methods of prevention
- Demonstrate successful completion of CPR training
Each participant must complete and pass the 12-hour home study module with a score of at least 70% and demonstrate good immunization techniques in order to pass the course. Additionally each participant must pass the CPR course that is a part of the live program. The self-study segment of the course covers important aspects of immunization immunology, epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccines in development, indications for vaccination, immunization protocol development, emergency procedures, marketing, vaccine storage and handling, vaccine information sources and retrieval, reimbursement and record keeping, The live course will be in workshop format to help participants learn vaccine administration techniques and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. The course will conclude with the administration of a final written examination.
The University of Florida College of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.