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

Columbia River Treaty: ‘It is going to get tough’

B.C. negotiator tells Nelson meeting that talks are cordial, so far

Midway man finds new freedom with a dutiful companion

Brett Merchant met his new service dog, Carrie, at a training facility in Ontario in September

Boundary Métis Community Association celebrates Louis Riel in Grand Forks

The association’s next big event will be a Family Day fishing derby at Wilgress Lake in February

Curlers throw in Grand Forks bonspiel

Nearly 100 curlers took over the curling club last weekend for the tournament

Weekend losses for Border Bruins stretch losing streak to six games

The Bruins have been outscored 38-14 over their last six games

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

John Mann, singer and songwriter of group Spirit of the West dead at 57

Mann died peacefully in Vancouver on Wednesday from early onset Alzheimer’s

VIDEO: B.C. high school’s turf closed indefinitely as plastic blades pollute waterway

Greater Victoria resident stumbles on plastic contamination from Oak Bay High

B.C. mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

South Cariboo Driver hits four cows due to fog

The RCMP’s investigation is ongoing

B.C. won’t appeal decision protecting ICBC court experts

Change to evidence rules next to save money, David Eby says

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

BC Ferries’ two new hybrid vessels set sail for B.C. from Romania

Two Island Class ferries to be in use by 2020

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

Most Read