Training pharmacy technicians to administer immunizations

Published:January 10, 2018DOI:



      To evaluate the effectiveness of an immunization training program for pharmacy technicians on technicians' self-reported confidence, knowledge, and number of vaccines administered.


      A one-group pre- and posttest study was conducted with certified pharmacy technicians from Albertsons and Safeway community pharmacies in Idaho. Thirty pharmacy technicians were recruited to participate in an immunization administration training program comprising a 2-hour home study and a 2-hour live training. Pharmacy technician scores on a 10-question knowledge assessment, responses on a pre- and posttraining survey, and number of immunizations administered in the 6-month period following the training were collected.


      Twenty-five pharmacy technicians completed the home study and live portions of the immunization training program. All 29 pharmacy technicians who took the home study assessment passed with greater than 70% competency on the first attempt. Technicians self-reported increased confidence with immunization skills between the pretraining survey and the posttraining survey. From December 2016 to May 2017, the technicians administered 953 immunizations with 0 adverse events reported.


      For the first time, pharmacy technicians have legally administered immunizations in the United States. Trained pharmacy technicians demonstrated knowledge of vaccination procedures and self-reported improved confidence in immunization skills and administered immunizations after participating in a 4-hour training program.
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      Kimberly C. McKeirnan, PharmD, BCACP, Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy, Washington State University, Spokane, WA


      Kyle R. Frazier, PharmD, PGY1 Research Pharmacy Resident, College of Pharmacy, Washington State University, Spokane, WA


      Maryann Nguyen, 2018 PharmD candidate, College of Pharmacy, Washington State University, Spokane, WA


      Linda Garrelts MacLean, BPharm, BSPharm, Professor and Vice-Dean for External Relations, College of Pharmacy, Washington State University, Spokane, WA