Toronto, ON (April 5, 2022)— Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA), a leading advocacy organization and professional development provider for pharmacy professionals, launches 10 Years of Immunizations, a campaign to reflect on and recognize pharmacy professionals’ impact as immunizers. Aimed at bringing awareness to the importance of safe, convenient and equitable access to immunization services, the campaign includes a webpage, live webinars, and resources for pharmacy professionals. 10 Years of Immunizations is supported through an education partnership from Pfizer Canada, a leading biopharmaceutical company.
The first live webinar for 10 Years of Immunizations will bring together a panel of expert guests which includes Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, Marshall Moleschi, former CEO and Registrar of the Ontario College of Pharmacists, and Justin Bates, CEO of OPA. Taking place on April 28, the webinar will discuss the history of immunizations in pharmacies, pharmacy professionals’ contributions as immunizers, and provide insights into advocacy and policies related to immunizations in pharmacies.
“Pfizer is very proud to support this program. We believe that pharmacy professionals bring great value to immunization programs,” said Fabien Paquette, Vaccines Canada Lead, Pfizer. “Not only do pharmacy teams facilitate immunizations in the community, they’re also a trusted source of information and support to reassure vaccine-hesitant patients. We congratulate Ontario’s pharmacy professionals on 10 years of immunization, an important milestone in expanding the practice of pharmacy, providing enhanced care to patients and bringing much needed capacity to the healthcare system.”
It has been a decade since pharmacists were first permitted to administer vaccines. This expansion of scope has since been extended to include injection-trained pharmacy technicians and other pharmacy professionals. 10 Years of Immunizations highlights how rapidly the provision of immunizations in pharmacies has evolved and shifted relationships with patients, all the while expanding options for care.
“The expansion of pharmacy professionals’ scope of practice to include immunization marked a landmark change in how individuals view their pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Over the last decade, we have seen Ontarians embrace pharmacies as choice destinations for safe, accessible, and convenient vaccination, with over 50% of flu shots being administered in pharmacies last flu season,” said Jen Belcher, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Member Relations at OPA. “We celebrate all that pharmacy professionals have done to help their communities meet target immunization rates, and hope that pharmacy professionals are enabled to offer all publicly-funded vaccines in the future in our continued efforts to reduce the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases.”
Since March 2021, over 7.5 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered through Ontario pharmacies, demonstrating the profession’s accessibility and capability to safely administer immunizations. OPA is actively advocating for extending public health vaccination programs in pharmacies. Currently, only two publicly-funded vaccines (COVID-19 and influenza vaccines) are available in pharmacies, although injection-trained pharmacists have the authority to administer 13 additional vaccines outside of the publicly-funded program. 10 Years of Immunizations hopes to shine a light on the unique capabilities of pharmacy professionals and foster further discussions on how Ontario’s healthcare system can approach vaccine administration and distribution.
To learn more about 10 Years of Immunizations and discover resources and upcoming events visit opatoday.com/10yearsofimmunizations.
ABOUT ONTARIO PHARMACISTS ASSOCIATION
The Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) is committed to evolving the pharmacy profession and advocating for excellence in practice and patient care. With more than 10,000 members, OPA is Canada’s largest advocacy organization, professional development and drug information provider for pharmacy professionals across Ontario. By leveraging the unique expertise of pharmacy professionals, enabling them to practice to their fullest potential, and making them more accessible to patients, OPA is working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare system. The pharmacy sector plays a strong role in Ontario with an economic impact of more than $6.3 billion across 4,600 pharmacies, employing 60,000 Ontarians. For more information on OPA, visit opatoday.com.
ABOUT PFIZER CANADA
Pfizer Canada ULC is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies. Our diversified healthcare portfolio includes some of the world’s best known and most prescribed medicines and vaccines. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life. Our commitment is reflected in everything we do, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit pfizer.ca or you can follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.