Canada's more than 11,500 pharmacies serve as vital community health hubs in virtually every community in Canada, on the front lines of public health and primary care. Pharmacies already administer flu shots, COVID-19 vaccinations in all provinces; but can do more to ensure Canadians can access the routine immunizations they require.
Our key messages regarding pharmacy's involvement in routine immunizations:
- One in four Canadian adults has missed or is unsure if they have missed a routine vaccination, such as HPV, shingles or pneumonia, for themself or their child due to the pandemic.
- More needs to be done to increase availability and access to vaccinations.
- Pharmacy can play an important role in ensuring Canadians receive access to the vaccinations they need, and pharmacy teams are committed to working alongside physicians and public health to ensure our communities remain safe and healthy.
- Canadians are supportive of increasing their pharmacist’s role to protect themselves and their families, and value easy and convenient ways to access their routine immunizations
- Enabling and remunerating pharmacy to provide all other routine immunizations will provide Canadians with improved access to their routinely recommended vaccines.
In Fall 2021, Neighbourhood Pharmacies launched the One in Four (pan-Canadian) and Supporting Healthy Canadians (BC) public awareness campaigns to educate Canadians about the concerning drop in routine immunizations and the role pharmacy can play in increasing access to routine immunizations. To support the campaign we also developed a Routine Immunizations Toolkit to help members and partners engage with their elected officials.