Recently the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) released a new survey, according to which, Americans shows a strong preference to receive the COVID-19 vaccines from a trusted local health care provider, such as their local pharmacist or doctor.
“Pharmacies are being underutilized,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA. “Millions of Americans would prefer to get immunized by a local health care provider, like their pharmacist. Community pharmacies have the capacity and the ability to vaccinate many more people than they are currently able to because of the supply and pharmacy allocation issues.”
“That goes back to the trust factor,” said Hoey. “Most Americans visit their pharmacist more frequently than they visit their primary care physician. For many Americans, the local pharmacist is the only accessible health care provider. And it’s now very common for pharmacists to provide a full range of health care services beyond filling prescriptions.”
Local Health Provider VS Mass Event
According to a survey of 1,390 adults conducted by Public Policy Polling from February 26-27, nearly 4 in 10 Americans say their local pharmacist is their first or second choice to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Only 4 percent prefer to be immunized at a mass event, such as the efforts taking place in many states where thousands of people wait in parking lots or sports stadiums to be vaccinated by public health officials.
Twenty-six percent of adults surveyed said they have already received one of the COVID-19 vaccines. Another 41 percent say they plan to be immunized as soon as they are eligible. Twenty-five percent say they are not getting the vaccine, a challenge for health officials that local pharmacists can also help overcome.
According to a national survey of 1,390 adults, conducted Feb. 26-27 by Public Policy Polling, 85 percent prefer getting prescription drugs from a local pharmacist instead of a mail order service. When asked why, 36 percent say their pharmacist knows them better than a mail order company. Thirty-two percent say their pharmacist answers questions and provides counsel on how to use the drugs. Another 15 percent worry their drugs will get lost in the mail, exposed to the elements, or stolen.
“Nearly 40 percent of Americans are already getting vaccinated for the flu by their local pharmacist. Many Americans also rely on their pharmacist to treat minor ailments. The fact is that Americans trust their pharmacist,” said Hoey. “Pharmacists, because they are trusted, are in a much better position to counsel people who are reluctant to take the COVID-19 vaccines.”
Saying about the vaccine distribution the National Community Pharmacists Association released the following statement from CEO B. Douglas Hoey in reaction to a report that the administration is considering a partnership with discount retailer Dollar General on COVID-19 vaccine distribution:
“Community pharmacies have been on the front lines of this fight since the beginning, and they are heavily concentrated in rural areas. Community pharmacists are already treating the patients that the administration may be able to reach with Dollar General. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
There are 21,000 community pharmacies already in place. They have the relationships, the capacity, and the experience to immunize rural populations against COVID-19. Also, unlike the big retailers, community pharmacists are mobile. They routinely administer immunizations for the flu and other diseases wherever it is convenient for patients.”