Not every pharmacist may feel comfortable administering vaccines to children, but education could help.
As vaccination services in the pharmacy expanding to include pediatric patients, some pharmacists may feel that they need more training to increase their knowledge and confidence before administering doses. A poster1 presented at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists 2022 Midyear Meeting, held December 4 to 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada, assessed whether pharmacists were ready to take on the task and whether extra education might be needed.
A knowledge-based course on pediatric vaccination was developed and made available for 1 hour of pharmacist continuing education credit. Before completing this course, the investigators sent participants a 19-question presurvey; an identical survey was taken after completing the course. The survey asked about the pharmacist’s pediatric vaccine knowledge as well as confidence in pediatric vaccinations, particularly administering it. The results were split into community and health system practices to determine if there was any variation between the settings.
Investigators found an increase in participants’ pediatric immunization procedures following the education session. Confidence also increased after the session, but the gains were more modest than the knowledge. Both subgroups demonstrated positive trends, but there were some participants in each group that saw a decrease in knowledge and confidence scores on the post-education surveys.
Overall, pharmacists in institutional settings demonstrated greater confidence than those working in a community setting in terms of pediatric vaccines. Additionally, few community pharmacists were found to change their personal confidence rating between the 2 surveys. Nearly all of the pharmacist participants said that pediatric-specific vaccine training should be undertaken by anyone preparing to administer them to children.
Although most pharmacists would benefit from training, “1 hour of continuing education training may not be sufficient to increase pharmacist confidence and knowledge” and more extensive training could improve both knowledge and confidence, the researchers concluded.
1. Kim J, Ducote L, Kyle J, Worthington M. Assessment of pharmacist knowledge and confidence in providing pediatric vaccinations before and after educational programming. Presented at: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists 2022 Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition; December 4-8, 2022; Las Vegas, NV. Poster 2-033.