The seasonal influenza represents a significant burden of diseases for the health care system and a risk for several population groups, including the elderly, people with underlying conditions, pregnant women and others. In a large part of the Northern Hemisphere, the COVID-19 pandemic reached its peak as the flu season subsided and spring arrived. But the risk of a second outbreak when winter approaches is real. Until a vaccine against COVID-19 is available and mass immunisation has been achieved, the risk of both viruses circulating and leading to combined morbidity and mortality cannot be neglected. Strengthening flu vaccination and protecting the most vulnerable members of our society is paramount to prevent the worst-case scenario and an even higher pressure on the health care system. This panel will discuss how countries in the Southern Hemisphere are approaching this challenge as they enter the new flu season, and how pharmacists are contributing to attaining the highest possible flu vaccination coverage.
After this webinar the participants should be able to understand:
1. The impact of pharmacy-based immunisation on vaccination coverage rates
2. Why vulnerable populations (older people and chronic patients) should be vaccinated against influenza, especially in the context of the pandemic
3. The role that pharmacists can play in normal circumstances and in times of crisis in improving vaccination coverage
4. How some countries in the Southern Hemisphere have adopted strategies to increase flu vaccination through pharmacies.
Gonçalo Sousa Pinto, FIP Lead for Practice Development and Transformation - the Netherlands
1. Mariet Eksteen, Professional Development and Support, Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa
2. Bettina Caponi, Community pharmacist, Argentinian Pharmaceutical Confederation
3. Andi Shirtcliffe, Chief Clinical Advisor - Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy. Ministry of Health, New Zealand