TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced today that as of December 15, Ontario pharmacists will be permitted to administer vaccinations for 13 disease states, adding to flu immunizations which are already available at pharmacy. This move is part of the province's new strategy, Immunization 2020, which focuses on improving access to immunizations, including leveraging the professional and convenient care that pharmacists offer to help improve vaccination rates.
"We applaud the Ontario government for recognizing the value pharmacists bring by allowing them to administer these vaccinations," says Jeff Leger, Executive Vice President, Pharmacy & Healthcare, Shoppers Drug Mart. "Flu vaccination rates have increased in the province since pharmacists have been able to immunize; allowing them to administer additional vaccines in the future is an important next step in helping to protect Ontarians' health both here and abroad."
Ontarians have clearly embraced the opportunity to get their flu vaccination from pharmacists. When that service first became available during the 2012-2013 flu season, more than 250,000 Ontarians were vaccinated by pharmacists. During the most recent flu season, 2014-2015, that number more than tripled to approximately 764,000 Ontarians.i
Pharmacists already play a key role in the province's health care system and expanding their ability to provide vaccinations beyond flu will help make them even more impactful in providing care to patients close to home.
About Pharmacists' Expanded Scope of Practice
Pharmacists' role in Ontario's health care system has expanded significantly over the last few years, utilizing their expertise and training to help meet public health needs. Today, pharmacists in the province are authorized to provide a number of essential health care services, in addition to traditional dispensing and counseling, including:ii
- Renewing a prescription when the prescriber is unavailable
- Providing medication reviews to help ensure patients are using medications appropriately
- Prescribing certain drugs for smoking cessation
- Providing annual influenza vaccinations
About Loblaw Companies Limited: With more than 2,400 franchise and corporate-owned grocery stores and Shoppers Drug Mart Associate-owned pharmacies, Loblaw is a Canadian retail leader, dedicated to advancing the health and wellness of Canadians. Its company purpose – Live Life Well – is supported by its 5,000 healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, opticians, dietitians, and nurses, offering a range of services like prescriptions, med checks, flu shots, minor-ailment diagnoses, and nutrition consultations. Each week, 17 million Canadians interact with Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart in stores or online.
i Papastergio, J., Fokins, C., Li, W, and Zervas, J. Community pharmacist–administered influenza immunization improves patient access to vaccination. Can Pharm J (Ott). 2014 Nov; 147(6): 359–365. Available online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4213255/. Accessed January 2016.
ii Ontario Pharmacists Association, Scope of Practice. Available online at: https://www.opatoday.com/professional/advocacy/scope-of-practice. Accessed December 2015.
SOURCE Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation
For further information: Tammy Smitham, Shoppers Drug Mart / Loblaw, 416-490-2892, firstname.lastname@example.org