Coordination between public health and private sector pharmacies is essential to expanding public access to vaccinations during the next influenza pandemic. Improved coordination ultimately saves lives by leveraging the strengths of all partners resulting in earlier and more broadly available pandemic vaccination.
Increasing the number of eligible health professionals who can administer vaccine is an important step to achieving a coordinated response to influenza pandemics. Because pharmacies are already major providers of routine vaccinations, they could significantly expand their existing role by providing immunizations to the public during a pandemic.
What is an MOA?
An MOA is a memorandum of agreement that sets forth the terms between two or more parties. Often referred to as a "handshake agreement", MOAs are not legally binding but make it possible to plan for action ahead of time, rather than in the midst of an emergency.
Why Should Public Health Agencies and Pharmacies have MOAs?
MOAs offer benefits to both public health agencies and pharmacies. Pharmacies engage with people of all ages across the lifespan and are often a trusted source of information and assistance in communities. As pharmacies become more involved in providing immunizations to the public, an MOA also can help ensure that all pandemic vaccinators have appropriate access to vaccine, information, and supplies.
An MOA's benefits to community pharmacies include:
- early allocation of federal pandemic vaccine supply;
- the ability to develop a distribution approach in advance;
- opportunities to educate public health about how pharmacies plan and respond to emergencies; and,
- opportunities to reduce waste, improve efficiency, clarify expectations, and strengthen partnerships with public health for both pandemic and routine healthcare situations.
An MOA between public health agencies and pharmacies helps pharmacies better serve their patients and customers and helps public health agencies reach the public more efficiently.
Using the Pharmacy MOA Submission Instructions, please review and sign the MOA and complete the Pharmacy HL7 Interface Form. The Pharmacy HL7 Interface Form is only intended to obtain minimal information to initiate technical conversation towards developing interoperability between the pharmacy system and the immunization registry. Additional questions will certainly be answered during the technical conversations.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact RA-DHPHARMACYMOA@pa.gov.