Pharmaceuticals & Biotech

The evolution of the retail pharmacy in vaccinations

By Adi Natu, Todd Burgess, Basil Hakmeh, and Ana Singh

July 14, 2023 | White Paper | 15-minute read

The evolution of the retail pharmacy in vaccinations

While clinics, hospitals and public health departments in the U.S. have long been the main sites of care for vaccine administration, retail pharmacies have evolved to play a crucial role in providing vaccines to the general public in the last decade. The urgency of COVID-19 vaccines helped accelerate this transformation and cemented the role of pharmacies as a trusted alternative site for patients, particularly adults and adolescents, to receive routine vaccines.


Although the role of retail pharmacies in vaccine administration has strengthened over time, vaccine manufacturers have not strategically evolved their approach to engaging with retail pharmacies and their now-supersized purchase of vaccines. So, we pressure tested three hypotheses via secondary research, (qualitative) interviews with executives of regional and national retail pharmacy chains, and (quantitative) surveying pharmacists employed by retail pharmacies. What we learned can shed light on the now, near and future opportunities for pharmacies and suggest ways manufacturers can innovate to support this evolving key customer.

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