FIP commitment to leveraging pharmacists to build vaccine confidence and address vaccine hesitancy and complacency
Vaccine hesitancy – concerns related to vaccination or outright refusal to receive vaccines despite availability – is a major threat to global health and an important barrier to the success of vaccination strategies worldwidei. Barriers such as misinformation and distrust in vaccines can compromise not only the health of individuals but also public health as a whole.
The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), which brings together 146 organisations of pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmaceutical educators, and represents over four million pharmacists from around the world, believes it is essential that pharmacy and other civil society organisations join forces and outline synergistic and complementary advocacy actions for broader access to and convenience of vaccination services through a diversity of providers and pathways, and to address vaccine hesitancy from multiple perspectives.
The commitment is available in the following languages:
Vaccination of special-risk groups: A toolkit for pharmacists
Pharmacists are one of the most easily accessible healthcare professionals, and they are increasingly engaged in primary healthcare strategies, including disease prevention. Pharmacists are key healthcare professionals to support specific population groups who are more vulnerable to severe forms of vaccine-preventable diseases and have a higher risk of hospitalisation, loss of functional ability and even death. These special-risk groups must be the target of proactive and systematic actions by healthcare professionals to ensure they are vaccinated against all diseases that may impact their health in a severe and largely preventable way.
Videos: Vaccines and special-risk population groups
While vaccines are recommended for almost everyone, there are specific groups of people who may be particularly vulnerable to severe forms of vaccine-preventable diseases. Their health conditions may increase the risk of developing complications requiring hospitalisation, developing secondary illnesses or even dying. Therefore, it is imperative to actively promote vaccination to those groups to ensure that they receive all the vaccines that are suitable for their age and clinical situation. Pharmacists can play an important role in promoting and advocating vaccination to these groups by leveraging their accessibility, expertise and trust by the population. Their frequent interactions with the public provide valuable opportunities to raise awareness of the importance of vaccination.
Optimising vaccination through coadministration of influenza and COVID-19 vaccines: Guidance for pharmacists
This new guidance for pharmacists explores how vaccination strategies for two important respiratory conditions — COVID-19 and influenza — can and should be considered together and combined in an effective and impactful way to improve uptake rates for each vaccine.
Regional challenges and enablers to leveraging pharmacists as vaccinators
FIP organised in February and March 2022 a series of six regional roundtables with some of its member organisations and other key stakeholders from each region. These events were codeveloped and led by the FIP Forum of Professional Regulators and identified the drivers and barriers to the implementation of pharmacist-led vaccination in each region. In particular, they discussed the existing
challenges to interprofessional understanding, cooperation and task sharing in the area of vaccination.
Discussion topics included the regulatory authority granted to different healthcare professionals to prescribe and administer vaccines and the plans for the management of anti-COVID-19 vaccination in a post-pandemic scenario.
The FIP vaccination reference guide. Knowledge and skills to support professional development and inform pharmacy education in vaccination
Pharmacists in many parts of the world play key roles in public health, including vaccination-related services. As
established advocates, educators and qualified providers of vaccines, pharmacists have a significant role in promoting
and supporting the uptake and monitoring of vaccination. Their roles include raising awareness of the benefits of
vaccination and improving immunisation coverage. To successfully deliver these important roles, pharmacists need to
obtain the required knowledge and skills in the area of vaccination.
“FIP vaccination reference guide: Knowledge and skills in pharmacy education and professional development” is
developed by FIP for educators and academic institutions, practitioners and professional organisations, and
policymakers. The reference guide outlines the knowledge and skills that should be acquired by students during their
undergraduate pharmacy education, and expands into the knowledge and skills that should be obtained by pharmacists
through professional development and training.
Advocating expansion of the pharmacist’s role in immunisation: A focus on diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis booster, COVID-19 and meningitis vaccinations
Pharmacists are contributing to expanded immunisation coverage globally, thereby reducing illness and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases. The report provides intelligence from 36 countries around the world on pharmacists’ current role in vaccination services. The new data show that their role has expanded since the publication of a previous FIP report in 2020. This increase has been driven in part by the need for urgent and mass vaccination as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report authors say.
Key findings include:
- 78% of countries surveyed allow vaccines administration at community pharmacies, and a third of countries allow pharmacists to prescribe some vaccines.
- The most common driver for vaccination in pharmacies was pharmacists’ desire to provide vaccination services.
- Legislative, regulatory and advocacy efforts have contributed to expanding pharmacists’ role.
In addition, vaccination authority policy development, stakeholder engagement and acceptance of pharmacists’ role, logistics development, and education and training were highlighted as being necessary if pharmacists’ role in vaccination services is to be leveraged further
Crear confianza en las vacunas y comunicar su valor: Guia para farmacéuticos (2021)
Esta publicación identifica motivos comunes de preocupación o vacilación relacionados con la seguridad y eficacia de las vacunas y propone enfoques efectivos para abordarlos de diversas maneras a través de campañas dirigidas por farmacias y mediante interacciones con pacientes individuales.
Construir a confiança nas vacinas e comunicar o seu valor. Um manual para farmacêuticos. (2021)
Esta publicação identifica razões comuns de preocupação ou hesitação relacionadas com a segurança e eficácia das vacinas e propõe abordagens eficazes para as abordar de diversas formas através de campanhas lideradas pelas farmácias e através de interacções com pacientes individuais.
Building vaccine confidence and communicating vaccine value: A toolkit for pharmacists (2021)
This publication identifies common reasons for concern or hesitancy related to vaccine safety and efficacy and proposes effective approaches to address them in a variety of ways through pharmacy-led campaigns and through interactions with individual patients.
FIP Vaccination Handbook for Pharmacists (2021)
With this publication, FIP aims to support individual pharmacists with understanding how they can contribute to improving vaccination coverage through services ranging from patient education and advice, to logistical roles and the administration of vaccines. This handbook provides guidance on the practical implementation of these services and includes guidelines on the procedures, safety aspects, common risk points and frequently asked questions about vaccines and their administration.
Pharmacy based pandemic vaccination programme: regulatory self-assessment tool (2021)
This self-assessment tool will help to identify strengths and areas for improvement in order to inform pandemic planning efforts ahead of current and future waves of COVID-19. It is an aid to help national ministries of health and regulators in assessing pandemic preparedness and the state of legislation and regulations within their countries to facilitate mass vaccination and testing and enhanced patient care through pharmacists and community pharmacies.
Vacinação em farmácias contra doenças pandémicas: ferramenta de autoavaliação regulamentar (2021)
Esta ferramenta de auto-avaliação ajudará a identificar pontos fortes e áreas a melhorar, a fim de informar os esforços de planeamento pandémico antes das actuais e futuras vagas da COVID-19. É uma ajuda para ajudar os ministérios nacionais da saúde e os reguladores na avaliação da preparação para pandemias e do estado da legislação e dos regulamentos nos seus países, para facilitar a vacinação e os testes em massa e melhorar os cuidados aos doentes através dos farmacêuticos e das farmácias comunitárias.
Programme de vaccination contre la pandèmie en pharmacie: Un outil d’auto-évaluation des politiques (2021)
Cet outil d’auto-évaluation permettra d’identifier les points forts et les domaines à améliorer afin d’informer les efforts de planification pandémique avant les vagues actuelles et futures de COVID-19. Il s’agit d’un outil destiné à aider les ministères de la santé et les organismes de réglementation nationaux à évaluer la préparation à la pandémie et l’état de la législation et de la réglementation dans leur pays afin de faciliter la vaccination et le dépistage de masse et d’améliorer les soins aux patients par le biais des pharmaciens et des pharmacies communautaires.
Programa de vacunación antipandémica en farmácias: herramienta de autoevaluación normativa (2021)
Esta herramienta de autoevaluación ayudará a identificar los puntos fuertes y las áreas de mejora con el fin de informar sobre los esfuerzos de planificación de la pandemia antes de las olas actuales y futuras de COVID-19. Se trata de una ayuda para que los ministerios de sanidad y los organismos reguladores nacionales evalúen la preparación para la pandemia y el estado de la legislación y la normativa en sus países para facilitar la vacunación y las pruebas masivas y mejorar la atención a los pacientes a través de los farmacéuticos y las farmacias comunitarias.
Give it a shot: Expanding immunisation coverage through pharmacists (2020)
This resource offers practical guidance on implementing a vaccination service and sets out the roles and technical requirements for pharmacy-based vaccines-related services
Addendum to FIP COVID-19 Guidance (November 2020)
This document provides an update of the most relevant data regarding COVID-19 contained in the “FIP COVID-19 Guidance”
FIP call to action to expand the role of community pharmacies in vaccination, including against COVID-19 and future pandemic (2020)
This statement highlights the role of pharmacists in vaccination and in the promotion of vaccination coverage around the world.
An overview of pharmacy’s impact on immunisation coverage. A global survey (2020)
This report contains the findings of FIP’s latest survey (2020) of pharmacy’s impact on immunisation coverage. It evaluates different aspects of pharmacist-led immunisation, including advocacy and awareness activities, regulatory frameworks, vaccine administration, reimbursement models, training and certification, vaccination records, and limitations and barriers to the expansion of pharmacy practice to include vaccine administration. A total of 99 countries and territories participated, making this the most comprehensive report published on this subject to date.
FIP global vaccination advocacy toolkit Supporting and expanding immunisation coverage through pharmacists (2019)
Aims to provide FIP member organisations with cases and arguments for achieving or expanding the roles of pharmacists in increasing vaccination coverage and uptake. (Access exclusive to FIP member organisations.)
71st World Health Assembly. Intervention on provisional agenda item 11.5 – Addressing the global shortage of, and access to, medicines and vaccines (2018)
This statement addresses the importance of access to medicines, medicine shortages and pharmacy in this context.
71st World Health Assembly. Intervention on provisional agenda item 12.7 – Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework for the sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits (2018)
This statement highlights the alignment of FIP and WHO efforts in influenza vaccination and access to vaccines.
142nd Executive Board Meeting. Intervention on provisional agenda item 3.6 – Addressing the global shortage of, and access to medicines and vaccines (2018)
This statement highlights FIP’s work on the area of shortages and access to medicines.
140th WHO Executive Board Meeting. Intervention on provisional agenda item 8.3 ─ Addressing the global shortage of medicines and vaccines (2017)
This statement addresses the global shortage of medicines and vaccines and the role pharmacists can have in supporting this global issue.
140th WHO Executive Board Meeting. Intervention on provisional agenda item 9.1 – Global Vaccine Action Plan (2017)
This statement addresses the global vaccine action plan and FIP’s effort to increase vaccination uptake
70th World Health Assembly. Intervention on provisional agenda item 13.3 Addressing the global shortage of, and access to, medicines and vaccines (2017)
This statement addresses the importance of access to medicines and pharmacy in this context.
An overview of current pharmacy impact on immunisation. A global report (2016)
This publication reports the findings of the first FIP survey on the roles of pharmacists in vaccination, conducted in 2016.
Good Pharmacy Practice – Joint FIP/WHO Guidelines on GPP Standards for quality of pharmacy services (2011)
This document describes the key roles, functions and activities of pharmacists, including the administration of vaccines.