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

Photos:Tribune sports reporter shares love for tennis with lakecity youth

Several children took the opportunity to learn this professional sport

EDITORIAL: It’s a real crime

How much can one region take?

Cowboys, cowgirls earn precious points as BCRA season nears completion

The final opportunity to accumulate points will be this weekend, Aug. 23-24, in Smithers

Cow Moose Sign founder wants LEH for antlerless moose hunt in B.C. stopped

“Shooting a cow moose — it’s just not the right thing to do, especially in this region”

B.C. launches mandatory vaccine registry for schoolchildren

The Vaccination Status Reporting Regulation will go into effect ahead of upcoming school year

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Most Read