Individual- and Neighborhood-Level Characteristics Associated with Support of In-Pharmacy Vaccination among ESAP-Registered Pharmacies: Pharmacists’ Role in Reducing Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Influenza Vaccinations in New York City
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New York State (NYS) passed legislation authorizing pharmacists to administer immunizations in 2008. Racial/socioeconomic disparities persist in vaccination rates and vaccine-preventable diseases such as influenza. Many NYS pharmacies participate in the Expanded Syringe Access Program (ESAP), which allows provision of non-prescription syringes to help prevent transmission of HIV, and are uniquely positioned to offer vaccination services to low-income communities. To understand individual and neighborhood characteristics of pharmacy staff support for in-pharmacy vaccination, we combined census tract data with baseline pharmacy data from the Pharmacies as Resources Making Links to Community Services (PHARM-Link) study among ESAP-registered pharmacies. The sample consists of 437 pharmacists, non-pharmacist owners, and technicians enrolled from 103 eligible New York City pharmacies. Using multilevel analysis, pharmacy staff who expressed support of in-pharmacy vaccination services were 69% more likely to support in-pharmacy HIV testing services (OR, 1.69; 95% CI 1.39–2.04). While pharmacy staff who worked in neighborhoods with a high percent of minority residents were less likely to express support of in-pharmacy vaccination, those in neighborhoods with a high percent of foreign-born residents were marginally more likely to express support of in-pharmacy vaccination. While educational campaigns around the importance of vaccination access may be needed among some pharmacy staff and minority community residents, we have provided evidence supporting scale-up of vaccination efforts in pharmacies located in foreign-born/immigrant communities which has potential to reduce disparities in vaccination rates and preventable influenza-related mortality.