A new study conducted by Aston University in Birmingham, UK, in collaboration with the UK and international researchers. Shows how community Farmacia can play an essential clinical role in the future of COVID-19 vaccine programs (health system).
The study, published by the Journal BMJ Open, found that community pharmacists have a large skilled clinical workforce’ that could positively contribute and help the communities they are a part of. Community pharmacies are considered among the four main pillars of the primary healthcare program in the UK, together with general practice, optical services, and dental.
In March 2019, there were more than 11,500 community pharmacies across England alone, according to King’s Fund. Due to the recent COVID-19 epidemic, the pharmacies have been able to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the UK.
The study examined more than 100 documents, including peer-reviewed blogs, articles, and websites about the function of community pharmacies during COVID-19 and other prior pandemics. They included pharmacists, technicians in the pharmacy counter assistants, dispensers, GPs, and citizens with a variety of ethnic backgrounds. The study team then correlated the findings with more than thirty health experts and citizens to verify the validity of the conclusions of actual-world scenarios.
After the gathering of data and the discussion on the result, The recommendations and the measures of direction were created by the researchers based on the study. The researchers also discovered that the policy and practice required concentrating on community pharmacies’ clinical functions.
Tips for policy to maximize the efficacy of community pharmacies
Many measures were devised to assist policymakers in using community pharmacies to the most significant impact during the present or future epidemics.
These recommendations comprised the determination of the distinct importance of community pharmacy as a response to a plan for public health. to engage frontline pharmacists in the formulation of policies and service specifications regarding vaccination.
Furthermore, policymakers should concentrate on providing timely, clear, consistent guidelines with sufficient detail. And enough flexibility to permit community pharmacies (health system) to adopt the guidelines that accommodate the needs of their communities. And to ensure adequate funds and reimbursements for the provision and modifications to any new services pharmacies in the community are required to provide.
In addition, the policies should be geared towards providing pharmacy teams. With the right systems to fulfill this new function and put their faith in them to fulfill the task.
If such measures are enacted, the community pharmacies could serve as key points of prevention, treatment, and vaccination initiatives. This is especially important because they tend to be located in areas far from the major pharmacies and offer services to various ethnic minorities that are at the forefront of COVID-19’s impacts.
Hadar Zaman, director of the department of medical and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Bradford and a community pharmacist. Discusses the findings of the study «Our research has highlighted the important role community pharmacy has played in overcoming vaccine hesitancy. Particularly in ethnic minority communities who have been disproportionately affected by COVID and subsequent mortality.»
He added that «What comes out very strongly, especially in areas of high social deprivation. Is that community pharmacists have worked very closely with their local communities addressing concerns around vaccine safety. Through these strongly rooted relationships in local communities. We will ensure vaccine uptake rates in ethnic minorities (health system). And the wider population can be further improved. Therefore, community pharmacy needs to be seen as an essential delivery partner if the Government is to achieve its national vaccination coverage in the short and long term.»
In the future, and looking outwards, for the importance of community pharmacies.
Due to the international nature of the team of researchers and the gathering of data from around the world and findings, the research extends over those of the United Kingdom, providing a foundation for many other nations around the globe. More research is likely to reveal more precise methods across countries and regions while also maintaining an important interaction with frontline workers, as the study was integrated (health system).
Community pharmacies provide the frontline to combat the current pandemic and should be governed by specific guidelines, as discussed in the study.
In opening their doors throughout the day, pharmacies have maintained their daily activities and have managed the increased demand for various services – including guidance on the management of minor illnesses. They also have significantly increased the number of vaccines given and played an integral role in the COVID-19 vaccination program.