Pharmacy-based vaccination is available in at least 36 countries and territories, covering nearly 1.8bn people worldwide, a major global survey has revealed.
The study, conducted by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), found that vaccination has been proposed or is undergoing development in a further 16 countries.
A total of 99 countries and territories participated in the most comprehensive report published on the subject to date.
The work, which updates a survey conducted by FIP in 2016, evaluates different aspects of pharmacist-led immunisation, including advocacy activities, regulatory frameworks, vaccine administration, reimbursement models, training, vaccination records, and barriers to the expansion of pharmacy practice to include vaccine administration.
The samples in the 2016 study and this new study are different (45 respondents in 2016), but there is a group of 40 countries and territories in common.
In this group, there were 18 countries with pharmacy-based vaccination in 2016 and there are 23 in the 2020 survey, a 28 per cent increase.
“Pharmacists are medicines experts, first-line healthcare providers, and integral members of the healthcare team. Expanding their scope of practice as vaccinators will ultimately further their contributions to public health. I encourage countries currently without pharmacy-based vaccination to work with FIP and its member organisations to organise a strategy leading to the changes necessary towards health for all,” FIP CEO Catherine Duggan said.