To describe pharmacy stages of involvement in outsourced and in-house immunization services and to explore the variability of stages of involvement across the sampled states.
Community pharmacies in 17 states, between July 2005 and February 2006.
Key informants of 2,558 community pharmacies.
Computer-assisted telephone interviews regarding pharmacy involvement in immunization services.
Main outcome measure
Pharmacies' stage of involvement in immunization services, based on the following categories: no interest; interested, no plan; planning; implemented; discontinued; and no response.
Of 2,558 community pharmacies, 1,707 (69.1%) completed the interview. For outsourced immunization services, about one-half of participating pharmacies (50.6%) implemented and planned to implement the services while only 20.7% had no interest in offering the services. These percentages contrast sharply with in-house immunization services: 24.7% of pharmacies in this category implemented and planned to implement the services and 38.1% indicated no interest in offering the services. Involvement in immunization services varied widely across the 17 states. For outsourced services, implementation ranged from 17.5% to 68.8% of pharmacies, while 13.5% to 39.3% had no interest in the services. For in-house services, implementation ranged from 0% to 42.1% of pharmacies; 19.6% to 49.5% had no interest.
Understanding stages of pharmacy involvement in immunization services should allow design and implementation of more effective strategies for increasing involvement and decreasing abandonment of immunization practices.