The impact of pharmacist immunization programs on adult immunization rates: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). Jul-Aug 2016;56(4):418-26. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2016.03.006.


Objectives: To estimate the impact that pharmacist immunization programs have on immunization rates.

Data sources: Pubmed, Ovid/Medline, and Google Scholar were searched. References were checked and citation searches using identified studies conducted.

Study selection: Studies were eligible for the systematic review and meta-analysis if the study compared pharmacist as immunizer versus usual care. Any study design that involved a comparison group was acceptable.

Data extraction: Data were extracted by 2 investigators independently with the use of a standardized data extraction form; any differences were resolved by consensus.

Results: A total of 8 studies with 11 study arms met inclusion criteria. A wide variety of immunizations were provided, including influenza, herpes zoster, pneumococcal, Tdap, hepatitis A and B, MMR, varicella, meningococcal, and human papillomavirus. Immunizations were provided in a variety of settings, including hospitals, single community sites, multiple sites, and a university. The overall risk ratio (RR) for immunizations was 2.95 (P <0.001) but varied substantially based on type of vaccine administered (heterogeneity: I(2) = 93.28%). For influenza, the RR was 2.23 (P <0.001), for herpes RR was 4.78 (P <0.001), and for other vaccines RR was 3.44 (P <0.001). The RR for comparisons by type of vaccine and sample size was significant (P = 0.010 and P <0.001, respectively).

Conclusion: Pharmacist immunization programs can have a substantial impact on immunization rates, but the impact varied widely. Widespread implementation of pharmacist immunization programs that include an advocacy component could help in the reaching of Healthy People 2020 immunization goals.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pharmacists*
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vaccines / administration & dosage*


  • Vaccines