Pharmacists in B.C. have been able to administer vaccines to people five years and older since 2009. (Black Press Media files)

Could a pharmacist’s consultation help more people get vaccinated?

Canadian study suggests giving pharmacists a monetary incentive to consult would cut influenza cases

Giving pharmacists an incentive to speak with patients about vaccines could drastically decrease the number of people hit with the flu each year, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo looked into the effects of a $15 consultation fee for pharmacists to consult a patient aged 65 years and older, and found that, in Ontario, it could prevent about 2,400 influenza cases each year.

“Given the high level of interactions pharmacists have with this vulnerable age group, encouraging these discussions at the community level could greatly reduce the number of seniors impacted by the disease,” said Dr. Gokul Raj Pullagura, a PhD candidate and lead author of the study, released Wednesday and published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

READ MORE: Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

The team used computer modelling to examine the cost effectiveness of a $15 influenza consultation fee for community pharmacists, balancing the cost of any resulting vaccinations and the savings from any avoided hospital visits.

The findings suggest such a fee, in addition to the current compensation for administering the vaccine, would cost about $2 more per person for the government to set up, but save major costs on hospitalizations.

“Considering our current method of encouraging people to get the flu shot is resulting in low vaccination rates, using pharmacists to their full potential could be a cost-effective way of achieving our goals,” Pullagura said.

READ MORE: Another case of measles brings total to 27 in B.C.

According to Health Canada, the flu causes about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths each year.

The BC Centre for Disease Control distributes roughly 1.5 million doses of influenza vaccine each year, free to residents. Authorized pharmacists have been able to administer vaccines to people aged five years and older since 2009.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Block party at Northern View Cannery Road Race

Terrace family top the podium in each of their racing categories

Stolen property recovered

Police briefs from Sept. 9-11

Terrace couple wins Lotto Max

Money to be put towards retirement and motorcycle trip

Skeena Paddle Club awarded $2K grant for youth program

Sessions teach residents how to canoe, kayak

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

The Northern View announces inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

More than $7,000 up for grabs for biggest legal salmon and halibut

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Most Read