Interview and article by Christine Clark.
Community pharmacies are at the heart of their communities and can contribute to the Vac4covid study by signposting patients to the website, according to Gavin Dobson, Clinical Trials Pharmacist at MEMO Research.
“Obviously, community pharmacy already plays a huge and vital role in vaccinating patients; reassuring patients that vaccines are safe (and far safer than catching covid-19); advising patients how to avoid catching or spreading covid; and how best to treat any mild side-effects of vaccination. Pharmacies are at the heart of their communities and they remain the most accessible source of reliable health information for patients. This reliability has become even more important during the pandemic as there is a great deal of misinformation around. Pharmacies can also signpost patients towards covid-19 studies such as Vac4covid”, explains Mr Dobson.
As a former locum community pharmacist himself, he sees involvement in vaccine monitoring as a logical extension of community pharmacy activities.
“We all want the best for our patients and anything that improves patient care is a good thing. As one of the most trusted health professions in the UK, community pharmacists and pharmacy staff can raise awareness of important vaccine studies, and patients already know that they can trust their advice. Endorsement of Vac4covid by community pharmacy will increase the trust in our study”, he says.
Community pharmacy – getting involved
There are a number of steps that community pharmacists who would like to be involved in the Vac4covid study can take:
- Pharmacies can help raise awareness of Vac4covid by downloading the poster from the Vac4covid website and displaying it in the pharmacy.
- Laminated A4 posters in colour or black and white can also be provided.
- Pharmacy staff themselves should consider registering for the study so that they can experience first-hand how easy it is and to see that the follow-ups are very quick to complete.
Mr Dobson is happy to answer further questions and can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find more on vac4covid here