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PHARMACY

APhA revises guidelines on pharmacy-based immunizations

BY Sandra Levy

In line with the increased role of pharmacists in providing immunizations, The American Pharmacists Association announced that it has revised its Guidelines for Pharmacy-based Immunization Advocacy and Administration. The new guidelines encompass prevention, partnership, quality, documentation, and empowerment.

Originally approved in 1997, the APhA board of trustees had reviewed, updated, and approved these guidelines in 2012, and on Jan. 26, after receiving input from the APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management’s Immunizing Pharmacists Special Interest Group and following a public comment period.

The revised guidelines encourage pharmacists to protect their patients’ health by being vaccine advocates; to collaborate, coordinate and communicate with immunization stakeholders to protect the community from vaccine-preventable diseases and to ensure quality by achieving and maintaining competence to administer immunizations.

The guidelines state that pharmacists should document immunizations fully, report clinically significant events using the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, educate patients about immunizations and respect patients’ rights as well as their beliefs.

“The guidelines provide a framework for the implementation and delivery of immunization services within pharmacy practices and pharmacists’ role as a valued member of the immunization neighborhood and improve the health of their communities,” Mitchel Rothholz, APhA chief strategy officer said.

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