Pharmacist vaccination has “dramatically” increased the uptake of flu vaccination, particularly among young adults, a new study has found.
Pharmacy Times reports that the researchers, who published their findings in the American Journal of Public Health, broke up vaccination rates by age (adults under or over 65 years) as well as state.
They also sorted US states into different categories based on the year pharmacists started providing vaccination in that state.
In 1993, before pharmacists could administer vaccines, rates for young adults were similar across the United States.
“Early adopter states saw vaccination rates rise, but other states experienced no change,” says the Times.
“By 2013, the difference between early adopter states and the last few states to allow pharmacist vaccinations (which were Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia) was more than 10 percentage points.
“The researchers discovered that the vaccination rate more than doubled between 1993 and 2013 in young adults, corresponding with the adoption of pharmacist vaccinations.”
Among those over 65, rates did not improve significantly, however.
The researchers suggest that younger adults could be more likely to be attracted to the convenience factor offered by pharmacy.
Only 36% of US adults aged 64 or younger were immunised against flu in 2013, up from 16% in 1993.