Operationalizing Pandemic Vaccinations at a Regional Supermarket Chain Pharmacy



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Journal Article

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Publication Title

Disaster medicine and public health preparedness

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community pharmacy, emergency preparedness, pandemics, pharmacists, vaccination


Community pharmacies were underutilized as vaccination locations during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Since that time, community pharmacies are a common location for seasonal influenza vaccinations with approximately one-third of adults now getting vaccinated at a pharmacy. Leveraging community pharmacies to vaccinate during a pandemic such as pandemic influenza or the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will result in a more timely and comprehensive public health response. The purpose of this article is to summarize the results of a strategic planning meeting held in 2017 that focused on operationalizing pandemic influenza vaccinations at a regional supermarket chain pharmacy. Participating in the planning session from the supermarket chain were organizational experts in pharmacy clinical programs, managed care, operations leadership, supply chain, information technology, loss prevention, marketing, and compliance. Additionally, experts from the county and state departments of health and university faculty collaborated in the planning session. Topics addressed included (1) establishing a memorandum of understanding with the state, (2) developing an internal emergency response plan, (3) scaling the pandemic response, (4) considerations for pharmacy locations, (5) staffing for pandemic response, (6) pandemic vaccine-specific training, (7) pharmacy workflow, (8) billing considerations, (9) documentation, (10) supplies and equipment, (11) vaccine supply chain, (12) communications, and (13) security and crowd control. Information from this planning session may be valuable to community pharmacies across the nation that seek to participate in COVID-19 pandemic vaccinations.

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