Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems

Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems
Open Access

ISSN: 2376-0419


Immunization Campaign to Improve the Pneumococcal Vaccine Rates in a Chain Pharmacy across Puerto Rico through the Implementation of an Educational Program

Ileana Rodríguez, Kyle Melin, María Caraballo and Nicole Quiles

Introduction: Pharmacists play an active role in community healthcare provision where they administer vaccines to their patients in accordance with state laws and regulations. Pharmacists contribute to disease prevention and the promotion of health. In Puerto Rico, pharmacists may administer vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, influenza, and pneumonia by protocol without a prescription. Background: By 2012, only 22% of the population aged 65 and older in Puerto Rico was vaccinated against pneumococcal vaccine. In the same year, 15% of the population between the ages of 18 and 64 years old were vaccinated. Poor promotion of the pneumococcal vaccine may be one of the barriers to a high vaccination rate. The purpose of the study was therefore to promote the uptake of pneumococcal vaccination among high-risk patients in a community pharmacy setting by implementing a pilot educational program capable of being expanded across multiple pharmacies in Puerto Rico. Methodology: This is a prospective, descriptive study in a single community pharmacy setting. The educational program promoting the pneumococcal vaccine was implemented over a 3-month timeframe. Inclusion criteria included: aged 21 years and older with at least one-pneumonia risk factors or aged 65 years and older. Some of the strategies of the educational program to promote the immunization utilizations rates were distribution of prescriptions flyers, telephonic outreach, educational programs, and promotional material within the pharmacy. Results: 259 patients were identified for the pneumonia educational program and 183 patients (70.6%) participated in the study. Twelve (12) weeks after implementing the educational program, 62 vaccines had been administered in 2015 vs. 13 vaccines administered during the same timeframe in 2014. Total number of pneumococcal vaccinations administered at the pharmacy as well as vaccination rate per total prescription volume were analyzed and compared utilizing descriptive statistics. Conclusion: Pharmacists are trained to administer vaccinations and implementation of an educational program in the community pharmacy setting can improve immunizations rates.