The Hague — Governments and other stakeholders must take urgent action to ensure equity in access to disease prevention measures, which includes greater investment in vaccines and vaccination services by community pharmacists. So said the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) in a call to action made today at the start of a new FIP Digital Programme to transform vaccination globally and regionally.
The call to action, issued by the global body representing the pharmacy profession, explains the ethical, economic and public health imperative to diversify vaccination pathways and strategies beyond infancy and across all ages. It appeals for developments in regulatory frameworks, education and training of the pharmacy workforce, and appropriate remuneration models to support and sustain a broader role for community pharmacies in increasing vaccination coverage rates.
“Vaccination not only protects against illness but also reduces the burden that illness places on society and individuals. Vaccinated children will grow into healthier adults who are more economically active. Vaccinated adults will take less time off work and be more able to contribute positively to society. One of the key levers for increasing vaccination rates across people’s life-course is to increase convenience of access and it is not difficult to see the significant role pharmacy could play in this,” said FIP CEO Dr Catherine Duggan.
She added: “This call is particularly urgent as vaccines against COVID-19 enter advanced stages of clinical research, and mass immunisation strategies will be required not only to protect the most vulnerable population groups, but to avoid additional lockdowns and economic paralysis. Today is World Pharmacists Day, which has the theme ‘Transforming global health’. Increasing vaccination coverage is one of the most effective ways of doing this.”
This call to action will be linked to a commitment to action that FIP will ask its member organizations to make, setting the path of action and delivery, at the end of its “Transforming vaccination globally and regionally” program in December.
The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the global federation of national associations of pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacy educators, and is in official relations with the World Health Organization. Through its 146 member organisations, it represents over four million practitioners and scientists around the world. www.fip.org