‘It’s about time we as a profession gather data to advance our professional services.’

COVID-19 has provided a key opportunity to gather insights into patients’ thoughts on vaccination

A group of pharmacy academics and PhD students from the University of South Australia are exploring the attitudes of community pharmacy clients on getting COVID-19 vaccinations at their community pharmacies.

Dr Vijay Suppiah, senior lecturer in pharmacy at the Australian Centre for Precision Health, University of South Australia, said that the group is currently recruiting COVID-19 vaccinating community pharmacies to take part in the study. 

“We hope that our study will provide data from a consumer perspective to the evolving discussion around expansion of in-pharmacy vaccination services including funding under the National Immunisation Program,” he told the AJP.

“COVID-19 has given us a unique opportunity to gather this data (which would otherwise be anecdotal) to understand consumer attitudes and acceptance of vaccination from community pharmacists.”

The team have designed an anonymous survey which clients could do while being monitored for 15 minutes post vaccination.

“All participating pharmacies would have to display the study poster in their observation rooms where vaccinated clients are going to be observed for 15 minutes,” said Dr Suppiah.

“The survey has been designed in such a way that it should not take more than seven minutes.

“We would like vaccinators to point out the poster and inform their clients that they can take part in a survey about COVID-19 vaccinations in community pharmacies by scanning the QR code.

“There are a few questions about why they have elected to get their COVID-19 vaccination at their community pharmacy. 

“This is the only study that we know of globally that is interested in exploring the attitudes of community pharmacy clients receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations at their community pharmacies,” he said.

The researchers are interested in sharing their findings with pharmacy stakeholder groups in advancing the expansion of vaccination services in the future.

“Pharmacists provide a lot of professional services but they do not get sufficient reimbursement,” Dr Suppiah said.

“It’s about time we as a profession gather data to advance our professional services.”

Interested pharmacists can contact Dr Suppiah at Vijay.suppiah@unisa.edu.au.

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1 Comment

  1. Michael Ortiz

    I read this article with interest.

    I have been urging my colleagues at PSA for several years to prepare MSAC submissions for the funding of professional services not directly associated with the supply of medicines.

    For example, there is no payment for not dispensing a PBS prescription and this takes four times longer to do than it takes to dispense prescription.

    GPs were paid for explaining the risk of using the AZ vaccine and pharmacists are paid nothing for the same advice.

    Let’s hope that this research in South Australia collects more detailed information that can be used to support of a costing study for increased payments based on value based fee, rather than a payment for basic administration.

    There is no reason why community Pharmacy can’t make a major contribution to NIP program. COVID vaccination clearly shows that Pharmacist are professional and responsible. Pharmacists have given around 20% of the COVID vaccinations once the Moderna vaccinations arrived. They are familiar with the AIR database and patient feedback is as positive as it is for GPs.

    Lets hope the the researchers have two comparison groups (GPs and Mass immunisation centers).
    Let’s hope that the SA academics don’t miss the opportunity to gather evidence that Pharmacists can deliver NIP immunisations at the same high standard service and at a similar cost to GPs and Government Clinics.

    Or will this be another missed opportunity by a Professional Association who are out of touch with its member’s needs?

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