International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 292–295 | Cite as

Pharmacists as immunizers: a survey of community pharmacists’ willingness to administer adult immunizations

  • Nicholas Edwards
  • Erin Gorman Corsten
  • Mathew Kiberd
  • Susan Bowles
  • Jennifer Isenor
  • Kathryn Slayter
  • Shelly McNeilEmail author
Short Research Report


Background Adult immunization rates worldwide fall below desired targets. Pharmacists are highly accessible healthcare providers with the potential to increase immunization rates among adults by administering vaccines in their practice setting. Objective To determine the attitudes of community-based Canadian pharmacists with respect to expanding their scope of practice to include administration of immunizations. Method An internet-based survey was emailed to community pharmacists across Canada. The survey was piloted through focus groups for qualitative feedback, tested for content validity, and test–retest reliability prior to dissemination. Results There were 495 responses to the survey. The majority (88 %) agreed that pharmacists as immunizers would increase public access, improve rates (84 %), and be acceptable to the public (72 %). However, only 68 % agreed that pharmacists should be permitted to immunize. The majority of respondents (90 %) agreed that certification in vaccine administration should be required for pharmacists to administer vaccines. Pharmacists identified education, reimbursement, and negative interactions with other providers as barriers to pharmacists administering vaccines. Conclusion Canadian pharmacists are willing to expand their scope of practice to include immunization. However, implementation requires professional development and certification in vaccine administration.


Canada Immunisation Pharmaceutical services Pharmacist Vaccination 



The authors would like to thank Donna MacKinnon-Cameron of the Canadian Center for Vaccinology for her statistical support, the Canadian Pharmacists Association for assistance with survey administration, and Tania Alia for her assistance with manuscript preparation and review.


This work was supported by the Capital Health Research Fund.

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare in relation to this work.

Supplementary material

11096_2015_73_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (360 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 360 kb)


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Edwards
    • 1
  • Erin Gorman Corsten
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mathew Kiberd
    • 4
  • Susan Bowles
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
    • 6
  • Jennifer Isenor
    • 1
    • 6
  • Kathryn Slayter
    • 2
    • 3
    • 6
  • Shelly McNeil
    • 7
    Email author
  1. 1.College of PharmacyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  3. 3.Department of MedicineQueen Elizabeth II Health Sciences CentreHalifaxCanada
  4. 4.Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management, and Perioperative MedicineQueen Elizabeth II Health Sciences CentreHalifaxCanada
  5. 5.Department of PharmacyQueen Elizabeth II Health Sciences CentreHalifaxCanada
  6. 6.Canadian Center for VaccinologyIWK Health CentreHalifaxCanada
  7. 7.Canadian Center for Vaccinology, IWK Health Centre and Capital HealthDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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