The role of the Community Pharmacist in promoting vaccinations among general population according to the National Vaccination Plan 2017-2019: Results from a survey in Sicily, Italy

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Abstract

Introduction. The 2017-2019 Italian National Vaccination Plan promotes the improvement of knowledge and attitudes of healthcare workers about vaccine prevention, in order to spread a vaccination culture among general population. Similarly to the General Practitioner, the Pharmacist represents a fundamental forefront for both patients and healthy people, also in promoting vaccine acceptance. This research aims to analyze knowledge and attitudes about vaccines of Community Pharmacists and to evaluate the burden of vaccination counselling during their work activities. Material and methods. A standardized, self-administered and previously validated questionnaire, including 5 sections and 28 items, was submitted to a sample of Community Pharmacists working in Western Sicily. The survey was carried out through an online questionnaire, that investigated socio-demographic data, knowledge and attitudes towards vaccination and the role of the Pharmacist as vaccination counselor during his work. Results. A total of 120 Pharmacists were surveyed. 99.2% of them were definitely agreed with the Regional Vaccination Schedule. A large majority (n = 114, or 95%) were fully vaccinated and have vaccinated, or would vaccinate in future, their children. According to Community Pharmacists interviewed, at least 90% of clients asked for further explanations about vaccination, and the citizens' trust towards vaccination increased (30%) or remained stable (54.2%) over time in the last 5 years. Finally, as reported by interviewed Pharmacists, a correct counselling provided by General Practitioners (GPs) and Family Pediatricians was the main boost in increasing vaccination confidence, instead of mass-media and web misinformation that has led to skepticisms among general population. Conclusions. The study demonstrated the key role of the Community Pharmacist for their consumers in vaccination counselling. In future, a strong collaboration between Community Pharmacists and all the actors promoting vaccination themes (GPs, family Pediatricians, public health workers) will be essential, as well as a uniform and standardized University training on vaccination themes for all these categories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-35
Number of pages11
JournalANNALI DI IGIENE MEDICINA PREVENTIVA E DI COMUNITÀ
Volume31
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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