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

‘Out of the Interior: Survival of the Small-town Cinema in British Columbia’ is coming to Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

On Saturday, June 8 at 7:00 p.m., ‘Out of the Interior’ documentary will screen at Gate House Theatre.

North Island Rising: Political polarization

This fall there will be a minimum of four candidates wanting your vote here on the North Island.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The last walk together

“I would give almost anything to be able to have another walk together”

North Island College holding information session on new culinary diploma

Get a sneak peek at the new culinary kitchen at the Campbell River campus

Council approves replacement of overhead heaters at Fire Hall

Port Hardy council has agreed to spend $11,000 on the replacement of… Continue reading

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

Most Read