Nineteen long years ago, way back in the year 2000, the CDC proudly — and boldly — declared that measles had officially been eliminated. Then came 2019 and the 1,172 measles cases that sprang up from January 1 to August 1 were signified as the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1992. The cases occurred across thirty states, and the majority of those infected were not vaccinated against measles.
Vaccinations are important. Very important. Now, while this is clear among those working in healthcare (and many who do not), the unfortunate reality is that we can no longer employ a blanket assumption that this is a view understood and shared by all of our patients. In fact, in light of the growing “anti-vaxxer” trend, it is more important than ever to embrace our duty as healthcare providers and educate patients about the importance of vaccinations, showing them the role they play in helping patients lead their healthiest lives.
So, while the conversation may start with measles, pharmacists have a great opportunity to educate patients about the range of vaccinations and benefits available, from the common flu shot to shingles to travel vaccines.
Setting the Record Straight
As you are probably aware, there are quite a few myths and much disinformation surrounding vaccinations, causing some patients to view their efficacy with skepticism. This is why it is equally important that healthcare providers stay updated about disinformation and are well equipped to properly refute it to set the record straight. Even among those patients who embrace vaccinations, research shows that one out of three of patients don’t even know which vaccines they are eligible to receive. In addition, a recent survey found that three out of five patients would actually prefer to get vaccinated at their community pharmacy than at the doctor’s office.
“In contrast to a landscape where vaccinations may only be administered in a physician’s office, community pharmacy–based administration of vaccines can improve immunization rates among under vaccinated population sectors by offering expanded business hours, convenient locations, and lower costs.” – Ned Milenkovich, PharmD, JD
Pharmacists can play a pivotal role in the health of their communities, acting as a one-stop shop for patients to learn and take action to receive the vaccinations they need. When local pharmacies commit to a year-round vaccination program, it simultaneously improves the health of your patient population along with your practice’s bottom line.
Consider this: the average pharmacy misses approximately 70% of its nearly 4,000 vaccination opportunities — and we’re just talking flu, shingles, and pneumococcal. Then, factor in an average gross profit of over $20 per vaccination. So, that is some serious revenue that is being left on the table, or better yet, the counter.
Whether you’re looking to implement a year-round vaccination program or simply get the word out to patients about an existing program, PrescribeWellness can help. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how we can help you improve the health of your patient population while also growing your practice’s revenue with a thriving vaccination program.
 Data from a 2017 proprietary study conducted by PrescribeWellness