To describe the characteristics of pharmacist immunizers and pharmacist-based immunization services in North Carolina based on immunizing pharmacist survey responses and to identify barriers and challenges to pharmacist-based immunization services in North Carolina.
Descriptive, nonexperimental, cross-sectional study.
All pharmacists with an active pharmacist license in North Carolina in early 2007.
Main outcome measures
Settings in which pharmacist respondents practiced, types of immunization services offered, level of participation in immunization services, and perceptions of possible barriers and challenges to providing pharmacist-based immunization services.
1,274 (12.8%) responses were included in the final analysis. Approximately 22% of respondents (n = 286) had completed an immunization certificate training program. Of these respondents, more than half (n = 148) had administered vaccinations in the past year (active immunizers). The majority (52%) of active immunizers had been in practice for fewer than 10 years and worked in either community chain or independent pharmacies. Almost all respondents actively involved in administering immunizations offered inactivated influenza immunizations (95.9%). A smaller percentage of pharmacists (39.2%) offered pneumococcal vaccinations at their practice site. All respondents were likely to perceive time and area/space as barriers to providing immunization services; each group also had several distinct perceived barriers. Many factors were perceived as barriers to pharmacists' ability to provide care by active immunizers. The majority of active immunizers were willing to provide additional vaccine types.
This research has provided information about the number of pharmacists providing immunization services and characteristics of the services they provide. The demographics and settings of pharmacists in relationship to their engagement in immunization services are also provided. Last, the current work helps assess the perceived barriers to providing immunization services and pharmacist interest in expanded opportunities.