Students launch vaccine campaign

Jan De Belie

Jan De Belie

October 16th, 2016

Jan De Belie

‘The European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (EPSA) is raising awareness of vaccination through a campaign for the public and health professionals.’

Jan De Belie
EPSA believes that as future healthcare professionals we should strive to increase the immunisation rate in Europe. Pharmacists have, as the most accessible healthcare professionals for patients, a crucial role in helping to reach the desired immunisation rates in Europe.

As well as serving as educators, facilitators and dispensers, pharmacists have already shown in some European countries that they have a potential as vaccinators. In the UK, Ireland, Portugal and Switzerland, pharmacists are actively vaccinating patients in the pharmacy. For influenza vaccination in Ireland for instance, pharmacist-delivered vaccination has proven to reach parts of the population that were never vaccinated before, of which a high percentage are at-risk patients[1].

We believe that pharmacist-delivered vaccination could be an additional added-value service in vaccination programmes that would only work if done in close collaboration with other healthcare professionals, starting from a patient-centred perspective.

It should not be seen as a competition between different healthcare professionals, but rather as an additional opportunity to cover a maximal range of the population and to achieve maximal public health outcomes. It is our common objective to ensure the wellbeing of patients and we should strive for it together. Pharmacists providing vaccination should, nevertheless, undergo an appropriate training to ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of the service.

EPSA has been advocating for this topic through its position paper on pharmacist-delivered vaccination, and is now organising its first Vaccination Awareness Campaign from 17th to 24th of October.

The Vaccination Awareness Campaign aims to raise awareness towards the general public about the importance of this effective measure for preventing infectious diseases, invalidity or even death. To mark the importance of being vaccinated, EPSA will deliver this campaign at European level and its members will carry out the campaign at local level at the same time by including specific activities.

EPSA’s members will be encouraged to participate in the #EPSAchallenge by uploading pictures where they show the ‘V’ sign with their fingers, accompanied with the text ‘I am vaccinated. What is your superpower?’ and ‘One little step to a huge victory!’. During the social media campaign, infographics will also be shared to educate EPSA members and the general public more about vaccination.

We encourage everyone to participate in the #EPSAchallenge from 17th to 24th of October and to help reaching as many people as possible !

It’s one little step to a huge victory!