Pharmacy immunization partnerships: A rural model

Sidney A. Rosenbluth, Suresh S. Madhavan, Rohit D. Borker, Lucinda L. Maine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To describe the Pharmacy Immunization Project, a pharmacy/county health department (CHD) partnership model for immunizing infants and adults in rural areas, and to develop service procedures and disseminate lessons learned for adapting the model to different settings. SETTING: Independent community pharmacies in five contiguous rural counties in West Virginia. PRACTICE DESCRIPTION: Participating pharmacies varied markedly in space, prescription volume, and population of service areas. PRACTICE INNOVATION: Childhood and adult immunization service. INTERVENTIONS: Pharmacists partnered with nurses from CHDs to offer year-round immunizations at times when other providers were typically closed. Working under standing orders of the CHD medical directors, nurses also conducted routine well-baby examinations in the pharmacy. Promotions involved direct mailing, posters, fliers, direct communication, and ads in newspapers, radio, and TV. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pharmacists' and CHDs' continued willingness to participate, use of the service by local citizens, and feedback from participants and other health care providers and the West Virginia Immunization Program (WVIP). RESULTS: All sites except one continued their participation through the life of the project. The one exception was a pharmacy with few infant patients, which discontinued participation during year 4 of the project. Remaining sites were used and well accepted by the community. The WVIP remains a loyal supporter, and no problems arose with local health care providers. CONCLUSION: The model appears adaptable to urban as well as rural practice and to chain as well as independent practice in states not authorizing pharmacists to administer vaccines, for pharmacists who for other reasons prefer not to administer, and for those who prefer to offer adult immunization on a seasonal basis. From the CHD perspective, the partnership model is useful in establishing "satellite" locations to target hard-to-reach patients. Recommendations regarding agreements and responsibilities are available, as are lessons learned during project development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Pharmaceutical Association (Washington, D.C. : 1996)
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


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