Travel Vaccinations: A 'Golden Opportunity' for Community Pharmacists

Bruce Kneeland, community pharmacy consultant, discusses how community pharmacists can counsel and manage travel vaccinations at their pharmacies.

Bruce Kneeland: There’s a golden opportunity in this day and age for pharmacists in the area of vaccinations and particularly travel vaccinations. The news is full of issues surrounding the need for people to be vaccinated, but particularly this is important for those who were planning to travel overseas, where they may run into diseases or ailments that are foreign to [patients]. The role of the pharmacist can take 2 parts here: first as a consultant. It’s very easy for a pharmacist to set himself up as a person who is available to come in and talk to about problems associated with travel overseas. Going to the CDC website, they can find the information that’s appropriate for people going to various parts of the world. And in doing this, they may or may not be able to provide some of the vaccinations, but at least they are able to point people in the right direction where they can go. And perhaps more importantly, the timeline necessary to get these particular vaccinations.

For the pharmacist for heavy-end immunizations, there’s a real opportunity to provide many of these immunizations. Some of them would be routine, others of them will require special training and licensing or certifications in order to provide, but I know several pharmacies who’ve made a good business out of managing travel vaccinations.