Research Notes
Pharmacy provision of influenza vaccinations in medically underserved communities
Patricia A. Murphy, MPH; Sharon G. Frazee, PhD, MPH; Jack P. Cantlin, BSPharm; Ed Cohen, PharmD; Jay R. Rosan, DO, FAAFP; Devonee E. Harshburger, MS
J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) 2012;52:67-70. doi:10.1331/JAPhA.2012.10070


Objectives  To demonstrate the extent to which a community pharmacy can provide influenza immunizations in communities designated as medically underserved.

Methods  This retrospective study examined the number of influenza immunizations administered and populations served in areas with limited access to health care by Walgreens pharmacies during the 2009–10 influenza season.

Results  More than 43% of the U.S. population resides in medically underserved areas (MUAs), and our results show that Walgreens pharmacies served nearly one-half of this population. Nationwide, more than one-third of influenza immunizations were administered by pharmacies located in MUAs. In states with the highest proportion of their population in MUAs, the percentage of influenza vaccines provided in MUAs was much greater (up to 77.1%).

Conclusion  Community pharmacies are convenient and accessible venues at which patients can obtain seasonal influenza vaccines and other immunizations. They are well-positioned throughout the country, including in areas that are otherwise medically underserved. These factors help community pharmacists eliminate one of the most important barriers to vaccination: accessibility.

Sign In
APhA Members 
Welcome to JAPhA.org! Please log in below using your APhA username and password. Update your APhA profile.
Not a Subscriber
New to JAPhA? Become an APhA member to receive a full subscription to both the print and online editions.


Register for a FREE limited account to benefit from personalization features such as alerts.


 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ten great public health achievements: United States, 1900-1999.  MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1999;48:241–3.[PubMed]
Roush SW, Murphy TV.  Historical comparisons of morbidity and mortality for vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States.  JAMA. 2007;298:2155–63.[CrossRef][PubMed]
 National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.  Facts about adult immunization. Accessed at www.nfid.org/pdf/factsheets/adultfact.pdf, April 12,  2010.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccine effectiveness: how well does the flu vaccine work? Accessed at www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaccineeffect.htm, April 23,  2010.
Nichol KL, Lind A, Margolis KL, et al. The effectiveness of vaccination against influenza in healthy, working adults.  N Engl J Med. 1995;333:889–93.[CrossRef][PubMed]
Fiore AE, Shay DK, Broder K, et al. Prevention and control of seasonal influenza with vaccines: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2009.  MMWR Recomm Rep. 2009;58(RR-8):1–52.
 National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.  A report on reaching underserved ethnic and minority populations to improve adolescent and adult immunization rates. Accessed at www.nfid.org/pdf/publications/adoladultwhitepaper.pdf, April 21,  2010.
Vlahov D, Coady MH, Ompad DC, Galea S.  Strategies for improving influenza immunization rates among hard-to-reach populations.  J Urban Health. 2007;84:615–31.[CrossRef][PubMed]
 National Association of Community Health Centers.  Primary care access: an essential building block of health reform. Accessed at www.nachc.com/research-data.cfm, April 12,  2010.
Bodenheimer T.  Primary care: will it survive? N Engl J Med.  2006;255:861–4.[CrossRef]
 Health Resources and Services Administration.  Shortage designation: health professional shortage areas & medically underserved areas/populations. Accessed at http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/shortage, February 28,  2010.
Hogue MD, Grabenstein JD, Foster SL, Rothholz MC.  Pharmacist involvement with immunizations: a decade of professional advancement.  J Am Pharm Assoc. 2006;46:168–79.[CrossRef]
Keely JL,  American College of Physicians–American Society of Internal Medicine. Pharmacist scope of practice.  Ann Intern Med. 2002;136:79–85.[PubMed][CrossRef]
 Booz & Co.  The pharmacy solution: an expanding role for pharmacies in healthcare delivery. Accessed at www.booz.com/media/uploads/The_Pharmacy_Solution.pdf, February 28,  2010.
Schoen C, Osborn R, Huynh PT, et al. On the front lines of care: primary care doctors’ office systems, experiences, and views in seven countries.  Health Aff (Millwood). 2006;25:w555–71.
Grabenstein JD, Guess HA, Hartzema AG, et al. Effect of vaccination by community pharmacists among adult prescription recipients.  Med Care. 2001;39:340–8.[CrossRef][PubMed]
Steyer TE, Ragucci KR, Pearson WS, Mainous AG.  The role of pharmacists in the delivery of influenza vaccinations.  Vaccine. 2004;22:1001–6.[CrossRef][PubMed]
Bunting BA, Cranor CW.  The Asheville Project: long-term clinical, humanistic, and economic outcomes of a community-based medication therapy management program for asthma.  J Am Pharm Assoc. 2006;46:133–47.[CrossRef]
Bunting BA, Smith BH, Sutherland SE.  The Asheville Project: clinical and economic outcomes of a community-based long-term medication therapy management program for hypertension and dyslipidemia.  J Am Pharm Assoc. 2008;48:23–31.[CrossRef]
Fera T, Bluml BM, Ellis WM.  Diabetes Ten City Challenge: final economic and clinical results.  J Am Pharm Assoc. 2009;49:383–91.[CrossRef]
 American Pharmacists Association.  Consumers encouraged to get immunized against influenza. Accessed at www.pharmacist.com/AM/template.cfm?section=newsroom&template=/cm/contentdisplay.cfm&contentid=24059, November 1,  2010.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of the editorial staff.
* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

JAPhA Articles
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
  • Print
  • PDF Download
  • Email
  • Share
  • Get Citation
  • Submit Comment
  • Article Alerts
    Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
    You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

    Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

  • Letters To Editor
  • Reprints