Experiences Among African American Community Members With Pharmacy-Based Immunization Services in Detroit, Michigan. Academic Article uri icon


  • Background: Although vaccination rates improved modestly in the United States during the 2014-2015 season, racial and ethnic disparities in the use of vaccines persist. Pharmacy-based immunization programs expand access to immunization services; however, African Americans in one metropolitan community did not have the same level of access to this service as non-Hispanic whites. Objective: To examine the experiences of African Americans with pharmacy-based services and identify how pharmacies and pharmacy organizations can better service patients in urban communities with similar dynamics. Methods: This qualitative study utilized focus group discussions among African American residents in Detroit, Michigan, where there are reported disparities in access to pharmacists that immunize to learn more about their experiences with pharmacy-based immunization services. Results: Three major themes emerged: the pharmacy location is often more convenient and accessible than doctors' offices, there is clear communication with the pharmacist, and perceived lower immunization fees at pharmacies. Participants found pharmacies easier to access in their community for immunization services. Consistent interaction with familiar pharmacists and pharmacy staff members facilitated strong relationships and dialogue between pharmacists and patients. Patients perceived costs for vaccines to be less at the pharmacy than at their physicians' offices. Conclusions: Participants reported positive experiences with pharmacy-based immunization services and expansion of these services may influence more African Americans to receive recommended vaccines in this community.

published proceedings

  • J Pharm Technol

altmetric score

  • 7

author list (cited authors)

  • Pattin, A. J., & Sherman, L.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Pattin, Anthony J||Sherman, Ledric

publication date

  • December 2018