Project Description Narrative:
Wisconsin's influenza vaccination rates are extremely low; only 44% of Wisconsinites were vaccinated in 2020-2021. Wisconsin is in the bottom half of states for influenza vaccination rates for people aged 65+. The Healthy People goal is for 70% influenza vaccination annually, which Wisconsin dramatically misses despite the recommendation of annual influenza vaccination for every person aged six months and older.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that vaccine access and uptake are unevenly distributed throughout Wisconsin. Significant efforts are being made to address vaccine equity for COVID-19; such efforts are also needed to address influenza, another formidable respiratory disease that causes substantial morbidity and mortality.
Pharmacists are equipped to impact Wisconsin's deplorable influenza vaccination rates. Barriers to all recommended vaccinations include accessibility and transportation to a vaccination site, scheduling challenges, and patient/parent knowledge. These barriers can be addressed by expanding access to influenza vaccination at pharmacies.
This project will address vaccination access, confidence, and equity in parallel with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vaccinate with Confidence framework, including collaborating with substantial, authentic community leadership; assessing and addressing causes of hesitancy and misinformation; building vaccinator capacity; and streamlining vaccination data reporting.
The project will improve health equity by expanding access to vaccines for Wisconsinites statewide, reaching urban and rural areas and people of all races, ethnicities, and abilities aged six months and older.
Community partners: MCW School of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Immunization Program, Wisconsin Pharmacy Foundation, Inc.