Increasing awareness of shingles and shingles vaccine: A collaborative effort with a midwestern pharmacy

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Maddox, Stephanie
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Background: One in three Americans will get herpes zoster, more commonly known as shingles, in their lifetime. Post herpetic neuralgia is the most common complication of shingles and occurs when the pain persists for months after the rash resolves. Based on the average number of cases and average cost per case, shingles has an annual economic burden of $5.0 billion in the United States. Despite the availability of a vaccination against herpes zoster, a 2015 review of the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) revealed that only 31.89% of eligible adults were vaccinated against shingles. In October 2017 the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendation was expanded to include vaccination of all adults age 50 or older with the herpes zoster subunit vaccine Shingrix.|Purpose: The purpose of this DNP quality improvement project was to increase knowledge and awareness of the herpes zoster vaccination at a midwestern pharmacy through a staff education program.|Methods: An anonymous survey was administered to all staff members at a midwestern chain pharmacy to assess perceived barriers to vaccination at their pharmacy location. Once barriers were identified, education for the pharmacy staff was developed to counteract these barriers. A posttest survey assessed the knowledge gained by the pharmacy staff. Results: 45 staff members responded to the original survey. Time, cost, and supply were determined to be the biggest barriers. Two locations who performed poorly on shingles vaccination in 2017 were selected to receive staff education. Attempts at a live presentation were unsuccessful due to staff availability, so the presentation was recorded and distributed through employer email. A posttest survey had 12 responses and revealed increased staff knowledge on shingles and Shingrix.|Conclusion: Pharmacies are an effective and trusted site for vaccination. Targeted staff education on specific vaccines should lead to an increase in overall vaccination administration rates over time.
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