Vaccine Center of Excellence Virtual Workshop: Alberta

About the Speaker

Carlene Oleksyn

Carlene Oleksyn has been a pharmacist for over 25 years. She is both a CDE and holds the Certificate of Travel Health from the International Society of Travel Medicine. Her practice has been featured in Pharmacy Business magazine as a leading edge practice and in the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy as a practice innovator. In 2021, Oleksyn was named the M. J. Huston Pharmacist of Distinction for her continued leadership and advancement of the profession. She is a regular contributor to Pharmacy Practice+ and Canadian Healthcare Network and can be found at

Place of Practice:

Mint Health + Drugs Pharmacy and Travel Clinic Stony Plain, AB


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Immunizations have the largest impact on public health than any other pharmacy based initiative. Vaccines save lives and reduce morbidity, having a direct impact on patients and the community. There is also a huge gap in health care with patients not knowing which infectious diseases they can prevent by being immunized and how to easily access vaccination services. I am a huge advocate for a proactive approach to preventative patient care and vaccines are a natural fit for pharmacists.

  1. When patients are in the pharmacy to receive one vaccine I always open discussion on every other vaccine they are eligible for and may be missing.
    Providing both verbal and printed reinforcement of this.

  2. Patients with certain medical conditions or ages that fall into risk and vaccine eligibility I open up the conversation at intake or at counselling

  3. I document in every patient record in our pharmacy software where patients are at with their immunizations. Whether we’ve had the discussion, which vaccines we’ve offered, patient response, what they already have received and what they should receive.

  4. At travel clinic appointments we also address all non-travel related vaccines the patient should receive.

  5. I have readily available information such as pamphlets as well as checklists to hand patients so they can go home with our recommendations and information on vaccines

Pharmacists in Alberta can provide injection services to any person 5 years of age and older
Pharmacists in Alberta provide the following PUBLIC vaccines:
dTAP in pregnancy
P23 for over age 65
Beyond this, all pharmacists can provide schedule 2 vaccines such as pneumovax 23 to those under the age of 65 who are eligible.
Most other vaccines are schedule 1 in Alberta, but over 50% of pharmacists in Alberta have Prescribing Authority and can initiate a prescription of all other vaccines.

  1. The importance of prevention both personally and as a community

  2. The burden of disease and the impact on their quality of life from vaccine preventable diseases

  3. Messaging that it is easy to get vaccinated and I will make it as quick and easy as possible for them

  4. That I strongly recommend vaccines, I vaccinate myself and my family and give personal examples and stories.
  1. Be proactive. Do not wait for patients to ask about vaccines because patients don’t know what they don’t know

  2. Be ready! Have tools on-hand and easily accessible for you team

  3. Have conversations with your team about how to implement and improve on vaccine services in your practice. Involve the entire team, assistants and technicians.