APhA Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Certificate Program

Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Certificate Program is an innovative and interactive training format that teaches pharmacists the skills necessary to become a primary source for vaccine information and administration. The program teaches the basics of immunology and focuses on practice implementation and legal/regulatory issues. This course is a hybrid program, using self-study online modules, live webinars and face-to-face injection training (at USC Health Sciences Campus in Los Angeles). 
There are three components to the certificate training program:

  • 12 hour (1.2 CEU) self-study modules with case studies and assessment exam (web-based)
  • 8.0 hour (0.80 CEU) live seminar with final exam (three 2 hour live webinars + 2 hour onsite USC session)
  • Hands-on assessment of intramuscular and subcutaneous injection technique – USC Health Science Campus
  • Additional self-study resources (password required; password included in course materials)

The goals of the certificate training program are to:

  • Provide comprehensive immunization education and training
  • Provide pharmacists with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to establish and promote a successful immunization service
  • Teach pharmacists to identify at-risk patient populations needing immunizations
  • Teach pharmacists to administer immunizations in compliance with legal and regulatory standards

Self-Study Modules Description and Learning Objectives

The self-study learning activity is designed to ensure that all participants have an understanding of vaccine-preventable diseases and the role of pharmacists as vaccine advocates and administrators.  There are five learning modules that present in-depth information on immunology, practice implementation, and legal and regulatory issues as noted below, with appropriate references to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) resource publication, Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Disease.  The self-study program includes a self-assessment test and real-life case studies that are designed to help reinforce and evaluate participants’ understanding of key information and concepts.

Module 1. Pharmacists as Vaccine Advocates

After completing this module, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the current status of vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States and the effects of immunizations on morbidity and mortality rates
  • Identify potential opportunities for community, health-system, and consultant pharmacists to become involved in immunization delivery
  • Describe the advantages of pharmacy-based immunization programs and the impact of pharmacists on immunization delivery
  • List key resources available for immunization providers and educators
  • Compare electronic resources of immunization information and identify resources of particular value to the pharmacist’s own practice site

Module 2. Immunology

After completing this module, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the differences between active and passive immunity
  • Explain how vaccines elicit an immune response and provide protection from diseases
  • Describe the differences between live and inactivated vaccines 
  • Classify the vaccines available on the U.S. market as live attenuated or inactivated

Module 3. Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

After completing this module, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the clinical features and potential complications of vaccine-preventable diseases
  • List the vaccines available on the U.S. market for each vaccine-preventable disease
  • Identify the contraindications and precautions for the use of each vaccine.
  • Recognize the target groups for vaccination based on the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations
  • Review a patient’s medical and immunization history and determine vaccination needs based on the current ACIP recommendations
  • Outline an appropriate vaccination regimen for a patient, including the recommended schedule, dose, and route of administration
  • Educate patients about the possible adverse reactions following the receipt of a vaccine

Module 4. Implementing an Immunization Practice

After completing this module, participants will be able to:

  • Investigate the legal, regulatory, and liability issues involved in offering a pharmacy-based immunization program
  • Explain the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and recall the requirements of this program
  • Describe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations designed to prevent employees’ exposure to blood borne pathogens and needle stick injury at worksites where immunizations are given
  • Outline the principles and procedures for vaccine storage and handling
  • Identify potential options for obtaining reimbursement for vaccines and vaccine administration
  • Identify marketing strategies that can be used to promote a pharmacy-based immunization service

Module 5. Vaccine Administration

After completing this module, participants will be able to:

  • List methods to identify patients who are at highest risk of vaccine-preventable illness
  • Review a patient case and identify that patient’s vaccine needs using the appropriate immunization schedule
  • Recall recommended patient screening questions for vaccination and identify valid contraindications for vaccinations
  • List five key factors that influence patients when making vaccination decisions
  • Describe the requirements for providing vaccine information statements to patients
  • Identify common myths about vaccines and outline the facts that dispel these myths
  • Discuss the rationale for timing and spacing of vaccines, including vaccine-vaccine spacing and vaccine-antibody spacing
  • Explain appropriate techniques for administration of vaccines by the intramuscular, subcutaneous, and intranasal routes
  • Describe the signs and symptoms of adverse reactions to vaccines and the emergency procedures that immunizing pharmacists should follow in the event of an adverse reaction

Live Training Seminar Description and Learning Objectives

The second part of the certificate training program is an active learning seminar focusing on pharmacy practice implementation.  The live training seminar is based on the experience of practitioners involved in immunization advocacy and administration.  The training seminar reinforces and expands on the self-study program and addresses areas such as immunization needs, legal and regulatory issues, and injection-technique training.  Participants will be expected to practice giving intramuscular and subcutaneous injections.

After completing the live seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify opportunities for pharmacists to become involved in immunization delivery
  • Describe how vaccines evoke an immune response and provide immunity
  • Identify the available vaccines for each vaccine-preventable disease and classify each vaccine as live attenuated or inactivated
  • Evaluate a patient’s medical and immunization history and determine if the patient falls into the target groups for each vaccine based on the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices recommendations
  • Review a patient case and determine patient-specific vaccine recommendations based on the appropriate immunization schedule
  • Discuss the legal, regulatory, and liability issues involved with pharmacy-based immunization programs
  • Describe the signs and symptoms of adverse reactions that can occur after vaccination
  • Describe the emergency procedures for management of patients with adverse reactions to vaccination
  • List the steps for appropriate intranasal administration of the live attenuated influenza vaccine
  • Demonstrate appropriate intramuscular and subcutaneous injection technique for adult immunization

All participants are strongly encouraged to obtain CPR or BCLS certification.  However, certification is not a prerequisite of the program.  A Certificate of Achievement is awarded to participants who successfully complete all program requirements.  The Certificate of Achievement is invalid, however, without written proof of current CPR or BCLS certification.

The American Pharmacists Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. The self-study learning portion of the Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery program is approved for 12 hours (1.2 CEUs) of continuing pharmacy education credit.  ACPE Universal Activity Number: 202-000-11-136-H01-P (202-999-11-136-H01-P if hosted by an APhA license partner).  (Initial release date: 05/15/2011; expiration 05/15/2014).  The live training seminar is approved for 8 hours (0.8 CEUs) of continuing pharmacy education credit. ACPE Universal Activity Number: 202-000-11-135-L01-P (202-999-11-135-L01-P if hosted by an APhA license partner).  (Initial release date: 05/15/2011; expiration 05/15/2014)

Completion Information: A Certificate of Achievement is awarded to participants who successfully complete all activity requirements, which include the self-study component, live training seminar, and the injection technique assessment.  Successful completion is defined as a score of 70% or better on both the self-study and live seminar assessments.  

For more information on the program curriculum or agenda, centact the Certificate Training Department by E-mailing pharmce@usc.edu.