What Role Do Pharmacists Have in Vaccine Advocacy?

A conversation with Anna Legreid Dopp, Pharm. D.

Recently, over 50 major healthcare organizations signed a joint statement that called for all healthcare employers, from hospitals to long-term care facilities, to require a COVID-19 vaccine for their employees.

The authors and signatories of that statement cited their reasoning as the protection and safety of not only the healthcare workers themselves, but that of their patients and residents as well.

The healthcare sector, the authors stated, should be a leader when it comes to being vaccinated against COVID-19.

However, by the end of May, 1 in 4 healthcare employees still didn’t receive a shot, proving there is still a considerable amount of hesitancy in that population.

When it comes to information about vaccines, there is hardly a more knowledge group of individuals than pharmacists. Not only do they know about the medicine itself, but they must be familiar with the entire approval process that a therapy goes through.

So, what role do they play in vaccine advocacy?

Anna Legreid Dopp, Pharm. D, senior director of clinical guidelines and quality improvement at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, discussed this topic in a recent interview with Contagion.

“As a trusted voice in the community, pharmacists are one of the most accessible healthcare providers,” Dopp said. “They can manage care concerns, they can triage care concerns and having those one on one conversations knowing that the pharmacists understand it, I think they should be leveraged to have those crucial conversations.”

In the interview, Dr. Dopp also discusses the varying reasons why there is still vaccine hesitancy in the healthcare worker population and how pharmacists can use their voice to be champions of vaccination.