(HealthDay News) – Almost one-third of vaccinations given to adults at community pharmacies are administered during off-clinic hours, according to a study published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Jeffery A. Goad, PharmD, MPH, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed data for all vaccinations given at the Walgreens pharmacy chain (between August 2011 and July 2012). Vaccination times were characterized as during traditional hours (9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays) or off-clinic hours (weekday evenings, weekends, and federal holidays).

The researchers note that pharmacists administered 6,250,402 vaccinations during the study period, 30.5% of which were provided during off-clinic hours. Specifically, 17.4% were provided on weekends, 10.2% in the evenings, and 2.9% on holidays. Off-clinic vaccination was significantly more likely among male patients without any chronic conditions who were younger than 65 years of age and resided in an urban area.

“With the low rates of adult and adolescent vaccination in the United States, community pharmacies are creating new opportunities for vaccination that expand access and convenience,” the authors write.

Several authors are employees of Walgreens, which funded the study.

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