Convenient for all schedules
Traditionally, an appointment is required if an individual wants to get vaccinated at a doctor’s office. Although standard, not all physicians have office hours compatible with most people’s schedules. Consider an individual who works a nine-to-five office job but has a doctor who sees patients during the same block. To schedule an appointment, that patient would need to take time off from work. Depending on the company’s policy on doctor’s visits, the individual would need to take a paid vacation day, sick day, or take the day off without pay. In contrast, many drugstores support walk-in immunizations during pharmacy hours and offer vaccines on weekends.
Pharmacy vaccines can be cheaper
For individuals who have insurance but not the ability to take off from work, a pharmacy can be a lifesaver regarding schedule flexibility. But for the uninsured or underinsured, pharmacies can often charge significantly less for the same vaccines a doctor’s office would provide.
Increased access to care
Many people live in what can otherwise be described as healthcare deserts and may lack access to reliable transportation. These individuals don’t live close to a hospital, healthcare facility, or doctor’s office. Accessing care can be incredibly difficult if the process involves relying on several transfers via public transportation. But many people do live near a pharmacy, even a local vendor not affiliated with a nationwide drugstore chain.
Vaccines for the entire family
Whether a family needs to get the children up to date on vaccinations or wants all members to get a flu shot, the pharmacy can immunize the entire family. Unlike physicians that often separate pediatric and adult healthcare, pharmacies do not. Keep in mind that minimum ages for vaccines are determined at the state level and not all vaccines may be available for younger ages.
Community vaccine outreach
Pharmacies may work with community organizations, employers, or even local city governments to offer vaccines outside of the drugstore. While the process requires planning and a supporting community group, usually such events are in a central location in a town or at a company’s place of business to reduce barriers to access.
Pharmacy vaccinations support community health
Regardless of a person’s socioeconomic level, pharmacies can be excellent sources for simple healthcare. While a pharmacy can’t replace a doctor’s visit for routine checkups or specialized care, these facilities can ensure that basic health needs such as vaccines are widely available to the community. In turn, the increased access ensures that fewer people get sick from preventable infections,