Pharmacists in B.C. have been able to administer vaccines to people five years and older since 2009. (Black Press Media files)

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The barge sank again on Jan. 8 and is still resting under water. (Bill McQuarrie photo)
Refloating of sunken barge to resume in early February

This will be the second attempt at recovery after poor weather conditions caused it to re-sink.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

North Island Gazette file photo of Port Hardy council
Port Hardy council proclaims the last week of March ‘Bear Smart Week’

Council agreed to allocate $3,000 for funding towards ‘Bear Smart Week’ signage.

Port Hardy mayor Dennis Dugas. (Dennis Dugas photo)
Port Hardy mayor talks two years in office, ready to move forward in 2021

Port Hardy mayor Dennis Dugas tackles a number of different topics in an interview with the Gazette.

Dex needs surgery after breaking his paw in the panic caused by an apartment fire. (Submitted)
Dog needs surgery after apartment fire injury

A fundraiser has been started to contribute towards veterinarian costs

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read