Shades of Gray in vaccination decisions - Understanding Ontario community pharmacists' perspectives of and experiences with seasonal influenza vaccine hesitancy
Canadian Pharmacists Conference ePoster Library. Pullagura G. Jun 3, 2018; 217825
Gokul Raj Pullagura
Gokul Raj Pullagura
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Abstract
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Objective: Limited research exists around influenza vaccine hesitancy (VH) experience at the community pharmacy. This study aims to understand practicing community pharmacists' (CPs): attitudes towards influenza VH, behaviour with those hesitant to receive the influenza vaccine and experiences with influenza VH at the community pharmacy. Methods: A semi-structured interview guide was developed and used to conduct in-depth telephone interviews with CPs. Twenty-two CPs practicing in Ontario were recruited through purposive sampling. The CPs interviewed were primarily certified to provide injections (91%) and had >20 years of experience (80%). All interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data was analyzed using a thematic content analysis framework. Results: Using a qualitative interpretive approach, the data was categorized into four primary and thirteen sub themes. Our analysis suggested that pharmacists routinely interact with individuals hesitant to receive the influenza vaccine, yet, their identification and the pursuant interaction was primarily passive in nature, often initiated by the patron. Furthermore, pharmacists perceived vaccination decisions as binary outcomes as opposed to movement across a continuum, thereby limiting engagement with those hesitant to receive the vaccine. Additionally, CPs recognized the importance of being educated on issues surrounding influenza vaccines and addressing related patron concerns, however, barriers such as time, current remuneration and staffing appeared to form significant bottlenecks to optimal patron engagement on vaccinations and related issues. Conclusion: Vaccine hesitancy at the community pharmacy is a complex phenomenon, ensuring optimal pharmacist engagement in this space requires a multipronged approach including, but not limited to modifying pharmacists' attitudes towards VH, equipping pharmacists with tools to help initiate and steer VH conversations and resolving existing pharmacy workflow barriers and issues of perceived low remuneration.
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