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The Evolving Landscape of Influenza Immunizations - Episode 14

Opportunities for Improving Seasonal Vaccination Strategy

Final thoughts are provided as the panelists consider opportunities in the field of influenza vaccination.

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Mitchel Rothholz, RPh, MBA: Any last suggestions or advice for our participants as they’re getting ready to go into flu season? What are your pearls of wisdom?

Randy McDonough, PharmD, MS, BCGP, BCPS, FAPhA: From my perspective, make every patient encounter count. When that patient is in front of you, make sure you’re doing the assessment they need, educating them, and dispelling any myths or misunderstandings they might have. Make sure you’re promoting the importance of vaccinations and being a resource to not only the patient but also the community. There’s going to be a lot of opportunities for pharmacists to continue to highlight their value to the health care system.

Mitchel Rothholz, RPh, MBA: Thanks, Randy.

Jeff Goad, PharmD, MPH: To add to what Randy said, it’s important to normalize or renormalize flu vaccination. We’ve been in this hyper state of pandemics, waves, and new vaccines, and [we have to renormalize] not just flu vaccine but also our routine vaccines. We have to get back into shingles and pneumococcal vaccines. [It’s important] to normalize the process for vaccination so there are messages going out and they aren’t all COVID-19. COVID-19 is still there, but it isn’t all COVID-19. We need to try to reintegrate people back into that immunization system. That’s going to be our challenge going forward.

John Beckner, RPh: From an operational standpoint, it’s important that as we get into normalization, as Jeff said, we involve our whole staff in the effort. Certainly, technicians play a very important role, as do the other members of our staff. To maximize our potential with returning to normal in the vaccine space, we need to utilize our entire staff. We also need to be flexible. There may be times when we need to take walk-in patients, and other times when the appointment model may prevail. Finally, continued collaboration with the medical community and with public health is going to be very important moving forward.

Mitchel Rothholz, RPh, MBA: Gentlemen, thank you for your insights and for having a great discussion. We’ve given a lot of pearls for folks to use. In closing, thank you for participating in this panel. For our audience, vaccination is a team sport, and it’s a win for the public health of our communities if we’re all working together. Thank you for sharing your time with us, and thank you for all you’re doing for the patients you serve.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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