Assessment of practicing community pharmacists knowledge, attitudes and behaviour towards influenza vaccine hesitancy in Ontario An exploratory study
Author(s): ,
Nancy Waite
Affiliations:
PharmD FCCP
,
Richard Violette
Affiliations:
MA
Sherilyn Houle
Affiliations:
BSP PhD
Canadian Pharmacists Conference ePoster Library. Pullagura G. Jun 3, 2017; 174269
Gokul Raj Pullagura
Gokul Raj Pullagura
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Abstract
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Objectives
The emergence of vaccine hesitancy (VH) as a barrier to vaccine uptake calls for research to better understand this challenge. The purpose of this study was to assess the Ontario community pharmacists knowledge, attitudes and behaviour towards influenza VH.

Methods
A cross-sectional survey was developed and refined in consultation with members of the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN). The survey was distributed electronically to 5,610 community pharmacists practicing in Ontario.

Results
The survey was completed by 885 community pharmacists, yielding a response rate of 16%. Pharmacists reported encountering an average of 16 vaccine-hesitants per week during the 2015-16 influenza season. Pharmacists self-rated knowledge on influenza: disease, vaccine and related issues across a 15-component question was consistently high. Four-out-of-five pharmacists [78.3%(n=634)] recognize their role in engaging with influenza vaccine-hesitants as that ofvery high importance. They also consistently rated high confidence in addressing common vaccine concerns. However, close to two-thirds [61.6%(507)] of the pharmacists believed that 70% of all individuals getting the influenza vaccine have already made their decision, prior to meeting their healthcare provider. Additionally, 66.3%(n=465) pharmacists stated that most individuals 70%) getting the influenza vaccine activel for the service. The pharmacists rated workflow, time and staffing as the most important barriers to effective immunization service delivery, while the quality of current immunization training and the confidence in their ability to immunize were the least limiting.

Conclusion
Results suggest that community pharmacists do encounter VH in their practice. Although they recognize the importance, possess the knowledge and ability to address influenza VH; pharmacy specific operational barriers prevent them from optimally engaging with patients in this space. Solutions to overcome the challenge of VH in the community pharmacy must be explored to improve pharmacist-patient engagement and positive vaccine outcomes amongst those hesitant.

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