Collaboration Between a School of Pharmacy and County Public Health Departments to Improve Vaccination Rates in Medicare Beneficiaries

Document Type


Conference Title/Conference Publication

American Public Health Association Annual Meeting


American Public Health Association (APHA)


Boston, MA

Conference Dates

November 2-6, 2013

Date of Presentation



Background: Despite Medicare Part B coverage for influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations, vaccination rates remain suboptimal in seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries. In addition, racial and ethnic disparities exist in vaccination rates. Objective: To increase vaccination rates of Medicare beneficiaries through collaboration between a school of pharmacy and county public health departments. Methods: The University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy conducted a series of outreach events between October-November 2011 and 2012. Nine events were conducted at the same location in both years. Events targeted Medicare beneficiaries, many from racial/ethnic minority groups. Partnerships were formed with San Joaquin and Santa Clara County Departments of Public Health, which provided influenza vaccines for use at these events. Vaccination history was evaluated, and the influenza, pneumococcal polysaccharide and Tdap vaccines were administered by a student pharmacist, under pharmacist's supervision, when appropriate. Demographics, vaccination history, and self-reported chronic health conditions were recorded. Results: Of 575 Medicare beneficiaries assisted in 2012, approximately 78% indicated having received the influenza vaccine within the last year. A significantly higher percentage of Asians (86.2%) compared to Caucasians (75.4%) reported receiving the influenza vaccine (p<0.01). Significantly higher numbers of chronic health conditions were reported in those receiving the influenza vaccine within the last year (mean � SD: 4.4 � 2.8. vs. 3.7 � 2.7, p=0.01). Overall vaccination rates with pneumococcal and Tdap vaccines were 62.3% and 51.5%, respectively. Conclusion: Collaboration between a pharmacy school and public health departments improved vaccination rates in seniors, including those from underserved or underrepresented groups.

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