For the second year flu season is taking place at the same time as COVID-19, with many pharmacies managing both flu and COVID-19 vaccinations. Here are five tips to make flu season easier on your pharmacy:
Know the Requirements
To administer the flu vaccine to patients two years or older, pharmacists, pharmacy students and interns must:
- Be in a pharmacy participating in Ontario’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP),
- Have completed a College-approved injection training course and registered their training with the College, and
- Hold a valid certification in the required level of CPR and First Aid.
Prepare your Pharmacy
- Prepare your premises to accommodate an influx of patients getting immunizations while maintaining physical distancing.
- Determine required areas for service delivery and plan space allocations.
- Consider additional infection prevention and control measures needed, including increased cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
Prepare your Staff
- Where possible, designate staff to specific tasks for the duration of their shift.
- Consider which tasks can be performed by a pharmacy student, intern, technician or assistant under supervision.
- Ensure staff members are trained on your pharmacy’s immunization protocols, injection-related policies, appropriate PPE use, hand hygiene, and infection prevention and control procedures.
Communicate with the Community
- Use your communication channels to make it clear what vaccines you are administering at the pharmacy – COVID-19 vaccine, flu vaccine, or both.
Establish tasks and those responsible for each phase of the vaccination process, such as:
- Gathering patient information and providing instructions before the patient arrives at the pharmacy
- Screening the patient for COVID-19 and answering patient questions when the patient arrives at the pharmacy
- Wearing the appropriate PPE and performing hand hygiene when delivering the immunization
- Cleaning and disinfecting immunization area, and monitoring patient flow between and after immunizations