The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) proudly announces its continued confidence in the safety of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines approved for emergency use authorization by Food and Drug Administration. The authorized vaccines have followed a strict testing and approval process throughout all stages of vaccine development. “We can have greater control over the spread of this virus by getting vaccinated and encouraging patients to get vaccinated,” says NABP Executive Director Lemrey “Al” Carter, PharmD, MS, RPh. “Wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands can be effective, but the vaccines have shown to be an important next step to gaining control of the virus.”
In addition, vaccinated patients can return to some everyday activities at low risk to themselves, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research. Evidence shows that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and potentially less likely to transmit the virus to others.
Nearly 38.5 million people, or 11.5% of the total population, have been fully vaccinated in the United States at the time of this release, but part of the US population has expressed concern about the safety of the vaccine and is hesitant to receive it. As we work toward higher vaccination numbers, the role pharmacists can play to educate patients about the COVID-19 vaccine is even greater. These accessible, frontline health care providers have an opportunity to advance patients’ knowledge and understanding of the vaccines’ safety and efficacy by demonstrating their own confidence in the vaccine.
NABP supports its member boards of pharmacy in their quest for efficient and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines. The boards determinedly work with local, state, and federal agencies to increase the public’s access to the vaccine and facilitate pharmacists’ and pharmacy technicians’ ability to safely administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
“It is inspiring to see the increased collaboration between our profession and other agencies to support the public’s health and safety during these difficult times,” notes Carter.
To further increase the education surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, NABP has shared a number of resources that provide board of pharmacy members and staff, practicing pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and consumers with vaccine facts and updates. Resources for health care providers can be found on the NABP website, and information geared toward patients’ education can be found on NABP’s consumer website.