The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a letter recognizing the role pharmacists play in improving access to vaccines.
“Over the last 20 years, pharmacists have played an expanding role in reducing the risk of vaccine-preventable illnesses by increasing the public’s awareness of the importance of vaccines and improving patient access to vaccination services throughout the United States,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said in the letter.
Schuchat, who is also the assistant surgeon general, said the American Pharmacists Association’s (APhA) National Certificate Training Program for Pharmacists on Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery has played a big role in improving access to vaccines.
“Due in large part to this program, the number of pharmacists trained to provide immunization services in the United States has grown from 40,000 in 2007 to more than 260,000 in 2015,” Schuchat said. “ Training of students has also been strengthened; by 2016, all accredited schools of pharmacy in the U.S. will be required to include immunization training of student pharmacists as part of their core curricula.”
In 2016, APhA’s pharmacist-training program will celebrate its 20th anniversary.
“My colleagues and I at the CDC applaud your accomplishments over the past 20 years and your continued efforts to improve the health of our communities by reducing the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases,” Schuchat said.