The Role of the Pharmacist in Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy

Yvette C. Terrie, BS Pharm, RPh


US Pharmacist. 2021;46(4):28-31. 

In This Article

Vaccine Hesitancy

The recent approvals of several COVID-19 vaccines have brought the idea of vaccine hesitancy to the forefront, and many individuals still express concerns about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines. However, in January 2019—before the COVID-19 pandemic began—the WHO declared that vaccine hesitancy was among the top 10 threats to global health.[14] Despite the availability of safe and effective vaccines, many adults lack awareness of their need for vaccines and the current CDC recommendations. The vaccination rates for many of the recommended vaccines for adults still fall below the target levels. Pharmacists are well positioned to improve vaccination rates and can act as patient educator, advocate, identifier, and immunizer. The CDC encourages all healthcare providers to educate their patients about diseases that can be prevented with vaccines and to strongly recommend immunization, because data have shown that provider recommendation is one of the greatest predictors of patients deciding to obtain a vaccination.[15]