Every year, millions of adults are hospitalized and thousands of adults die from vaccine-preventable diseases. Improving immunization rates is a critical public health issue, and it begins with helping patients understand which vaccinations they need in order to be immunized from life-threatening diseases.
The pharmacy is a logical setting for educating patients on recommended vaccines and improving immunization rates. Patients visit their pharmacy five times more often than they visit other healthcare providers, and pharmacists consistently rank among the most trusted professionals in the United States. This combination of patient access and patient trust perfectly positions pharmacists to make a positive impact on immunization rates. In addition, proposed mergers like CVS and Aetna will start to drive even more people to the pharmacy for immunizations and other clinical services, as risk-bearing entities look for convenient, lower-cost settings of care for their membership.