Introduction: while the influenza vaccine is indicated for healthcare personnel, its coverage among Spanish community pharmacists is currently unknown. This study aims to quantify this coverage as well as evaluate the causes leading pharmacists to be inoculated or not, their flu-related absenteeism, whether they recommend the vaccine to risk groups, and their willingness to administer it in the pharmacy.
Methods: descriptive cross-sectional study using an online questionnaire aimed at community pharmacists throughout Spain. A descriptive analysis of the variables studied and of the association between vaccination and qualitative (Chi-square and Fisher test) and quantitative (ANOVA) variables was performed.
Results: a response rate of 9.4% (n=1,436). Pharmacists reported vaccinating around 30% in the three seasons under study (2016-2019), being 31-35.8% (IC95%) in the 2018-2019 season. Being a pharmacy owner/co-owner, professional experience, age, being vaccinated to avoid influenza and/or for responsibility, and being vaccinated in previous seasons are factors associated with being vaccinated (p<0.05). Being a member of SEFAC is also a factor. Flu-related absenteeism in the 2018-2019 season was 9.5%. Pharmacists who reported being vaccinated themselves were more likely to recommended the vaccine and more likely to administer it (p<0.05).
Conclusions: flu vaccination coverage among community pharmacists is low despite the absenteeism this causes. Making vaccination easier for pharmacists could increase coverage. Pharmacists recommend flu vaccination for at-risk patients and would be willing to vaccinate in licensed pharmacies.