Pharmacist Moms Dialogues Event Presents Vaccination Updates and Addresses Questions

Chapman University dean’s presentation highlights patient relations and staffing issues.

The challenges posed by patient hesitancy issues and the latest vaccination updates were highlighted at the Pharmacist Moms Group Dialogues event, held on August 17, 2022 in San Diego, California.

Bonnie Hui-Callahan, PharmD, CDCES, Senior Clinical Program Manager at Capital Rx, hosted the event, which featured a presentation by Jeff Goad, PharmD, MPH, FAPhA, FISTM, FCPhA, FCSHP, CTH, Professor of Practice pharmacist and associate dean for academic affairs at Chapman University in Orange, California.

“One of the things we will talk about when we get to the vaccine questions is [that] one of your most powerful roles as a ‘pharmacy mom’ or ‘pharmacy dad’ is being able to relate to your patients, to your friends, [to] your colleagues,”
Goad said during the presentation. “Being able to say to your patients, ‘I have vaccinated myself and my children,’ is a very powerful statement.”

During the presentation, Goad estimated that a large number of children have not caught up on pediatric vaccines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As COVID-19 cases began to decline, vaccination rates began to pick up, but once the Delta variant arrived, vaccination rates fell again, he said.

“What it tells us is that our health care system is very sensitive to fluctuations in government guidelines,” Goad said. “Virtual care doesn’t work for vaccines… when we switched to that, we saw our vaccination rates start to drop; we are not back yet [to where we were] for adult vaccines.”

As an example, Goad said the California Department of Public Health has been pushing more people to go to pharmacies to get vaccinated, which is a double-edged sword due to staffing shortage issues. Patients receiving flu shots at pharmacies may also need other inoculations, such as pneumococcal shots, adding to their workload.

Staffing shortages also present problems when immunization gaps are identified and patients who are behind on vaccinations are contacted. Health departments want pharmacists to review patient lists to identify these patients, but this is a challenging task for pharmacies that are already understaffed.

An emergency order allows pharmacy technicians to administer vaccines, but it’s unclear if that will continue when the order is rescinded.

In the second part of his presentation, Goad discussed vaccine hesitancy, noting that data is the most powerful tool for communicating the importance of getting vaccinated. For example, pharmacists can show patients the actual number of people hospitalized as a result of COVID-19 compared to people who received the vaccine.

“I always say that misinformation travels much faster than correct information, and once it’s available, the internet doesn’t have a bribery policy. There’s no delete button, no backspace… The Internet is there forever,” Goad said.

The key to addressing COVID-19 vaccine misinformation is to discuss the topic in a way that makes sense to patients.

A common myth surrounding COVID-19 vaccines is that the shots became available too quickly, Goad said, but dispelling this and other misinformation may encourage more patients to get vaccinated.

Reference

Goad J. Pharmacist Moms Dialogues. August 17, 2022; San Diego, California.

Pharmacist Moms Dialogues Event Presents Vaccination Updates and Addresses Questions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top