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Pharmacists: Leveraging this Public Health Workforce


This infographic takes a close look at the pharmacist workforce and its role in the COVID-19 response. Pharmacists are trusted and accessible, with 90% of Americans living within five miles of a pharmacy. They are well-positioned to address vaccine hesitancy and ensure equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution and access. Leveraging and supporting pharmacists could help address public health priorities both during and after the pandemic.

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Number of pharmacists to the different types of pharmacists: “Pharmacists : Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019.

What pharmacists in community settings do: “National Pharmacist Workforce Study 2019.” American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and American Pharmacists Association. January 10, 2020.

Pharmacy closures: Guadamuz, Jenny S, et al. “Assessment of Pharmacy Closures in the United States From 2009 Through 2015.” JAMA Internal Medicine, American Medical Association, 21 Oct. 2019.

High workloads: “National Pharmacist Workforce Study 2019.” American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and American Pharmacists Association. January 10, 2020.

Untapped resource: “Serving the Greater Good: Public Health & Community Pharmacy Partnerships.” Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. October 2017.

Trusted: Reinhart, RJ. “Nurses Continue to Rate Highest in Honesty, Ethics.” Gallup.com, Gallup, 6 Jan. 2020.

Within 5 miles: “Access to Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Facilities: A Geographic Information Systems Analysis.” University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and West Health Policy Center. February 2, 2021.

How often people see their community pharmacist: Berenbrok LA, Gabriel N, Coley KC, Hernandez I. Evaluation of Frequency of Encounters With Primary Care Physicians vs Visits to Community Pharmacies Among Medicare Beneficiaries. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(7):e209132.

Opportunities to advance community-based priorities: “Serving the Greater Good: Public Health & Community Pharmacy Partnerships.” Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. October 2017.

Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination: “COVID-19 Vaccination Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership Program.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 Mar. 2021.

Zip codes with high social vulnerability scores: “FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Announces Historic $10 Billion Investment to Expand Access to COVID-19 Vaccines and Build Vaccine Confidence in Hardest-Hit and Highest-Risk Communities.” The White House, The United States Government, 25 Mar. 2021.

  • Note: Social vulnerability is a CDC index that uses 15 U.S. census variables to identify communities that may need support

Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program: “Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 Feb. 2021.

Expand professional scope of practice: Richard Hughes IV, Daniel Nam, Nick Diamond, Colleen Hopkins, Neil Rosacker. “The Pharmacist's Role In COVID-19 Response Efforts: Health Affairs Blog.” Health Affairs, 23 July 2020.

Collaborate with pharmacists: Hae Mi Choe, PharmD. “Embedding Pharmacists Into the Practice.” Embedding Pharmacists Into the Practice | AMA STEPS Forward | AMA Ed Hub, AMA STEPS Forward, 29 June 2017.

Improve labor standards: Kaplan, Adiel, et al. “Overworked, Understaffed: Pharmacists Say Industry in Crisis Puts Patient Safety at Risk.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 17 Mar. 2021.

  • Staffing cuts and patient safety: Gabler, Ellen. “How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 31 Jan. 2020.

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