Walgreens, Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Department of Public Health are teaming up to help parents of students in grades 6 to 12 meet a new Illinois state requirement for Tdap vaccinations, which help to protect against whooping cough, the pharmacy operator announced.
Starting in August, licensed pharmacists at more than 560 U.S. Sam's Club pharmacy locations will administer flu shots and nine immunizations recommended to help protect against diseases, such as pneumonia, shingles and whooping cough. All Sam's Club pharmacies are open to the public.
As new state legislation takes effect Monday to help bring greater patient access to vaccines, Walgreens has significantly expanded vaccine availability at all of its 204 locations across Indiana, the retailer announced.
When it announced its fourth-quarter and fiscal year 2013 earnings in April, Rite Aid noted that it performed 2.4 million flu vaccinations, as well as 400,000 vaccinations for pneumonia, shingles and whooping cough. Walgreens administered more than 6.5 million immunizations in 2012, and CVS' totals reached more than 3.5 million.
The dramatic expansion in the number of pharmacists who can give vaccinations and the range of vaccinations they can deliver has occurred just as an epidemic of whooping cough has spread across the country.
Reflecting the value of community pharmacy, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores is answering the call of public health authorities to promote vaccinations in the battle against whooping cough, also known as pertussis.
MinuteClinic, the walk-in medical clinics inside CVS/pharmacy stores in 25 states and the District of Columbia, is gearing up for the back-to-school season by reminding parents that it is a one-stop location where students can get their required vaccinations and sports and college physicals as four states issue new immunization mandates.
Physicians' offices already have enough on their plate that a wave of new appointments for pertussis vaccinations would overwhelm them. For that reason, it's essential that pharmacists and retail clinicians step in to ensure that kids, and especially adults, get vaccinated against the disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday held a press briefing regarding the growing number of whooping cough cases in Washington state, which, according to the CDC, is reflective of how pertussis cases are trending nationally.
As health departments across the country report record numbers of pertussis cases, the results of a new survey of American adults released Wednesday revealed that most parents aren't asking adults close to their infants and young children to get an adult whooping cough booster vaccine, even though they do ask them to follow other basic precautions to safeguard their children's health.
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, once was among the most feared childhood diseases and was a frequent killer of young children. Today, it's mostly under control, a testament to the importance of vaccinations.