Pharmacists issue guidance for mass COVID-19 vaccination

By Samantha Black, PhD, The Science Advisory Board editor in chief

August 26, 2020 -- As society prepares for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has issued 10 guiding principles for development, distribution, allocation, and oversight of vaccines. The guidelines build on the organization's research and best practices expertise in pandemic preparedness, supply chain management, distribution, and clinical practice.

As the largest single vaccination effort the global community has ever undertaken, ASHP believes the following are vital to an effective vaccination rollout:

  • Enforce a transparent and rigorous process for vaccine development, approval, and postmarketing surveillance.
  • Collaborate and coordinate with U.S. and international public health partners to establish and implement a framework for the ethical and equitable global distribution of vaccines.
  • Engage, prepare, and protect the workforce of immunization personnel.
  • Expand patient access to COVID-19 vaccines by leveraging a highly qualified and empowered clinical pharmacy workforce in all settings of care.
  • Adhere to established best practices for proper storage and handling of vaccines throughout the supply chain from distribution to patient administration.
  • Ensure equitable allocation of COVID-19 vaccines across populations and communities, prioritized for greatest public health impact.
  • Achieve high acceptance and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines by minimizing vaccine hesitancy and misinformation.
  • Seek innovative solutions for adverse drug event monitoring and documentation to improve the thoroughness, accuracy, and usefulness of data collection for improved vaccine safety.
  • Ensure patient access to COVID-19 vaccines by preventing and removing financial barriers.
  • Remain vigilant with continued research and comprehensive surveillance procedures for COVID-19 vaccine use, safety, and effectiveness.
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