CE LESSONS

Update on Adult Immunization

November 2013
Immunization programs are the single most cost-effective investment in the Canadian healthcare system, having saved more lives over the past 50 years than any other healthcare intervention.(1) Although the emphasis has been on childhood immunization programs, adult immunization programs are equally important. Notably, the majority of vaccine-preventable deaths now occur in adults,(2) largely as a result of lower uptake in the adult population in comparison to that of children.(3)Once a new vaccine is approved by the Biological and Genetics Therapeutics Directorate of Health Canada, national recommendations for immunization are made by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), a federal body of experts in a variety of immunizationrelated fields. However, because health care falls under provincial jurisdiction, which vaccines are adopted within provincial/ territorial publicly funded programs depends on jurisdictional policy processes and the capacity to fund these programs. Consequently, some jurisdictions may fund programs for new vaccines while others do not. As pharmacists play a role in assisting with publicly-funded immunization programs and patients choosing to pay out-of-pocket for recommended but non-publicly funded vaccines, it is important to keep up-to-date with current NACI recommendations. The online evergreen version of the Canadian Immunization Guide(1) incorporates new and updated NACI statements and is an excellent source of immunization-related information for pharmacists.
This CE is produced by Pharmacy Practice through an unrestricted educational grant from Mylan.
Reprinted with permission from Pharmacy Practice