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.
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.
GlaxoSmithKline has received regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a vaccine designed to prevent invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups C and Y and Haemophilus influenzae type B.
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.
It’s been more than 200 years since the first successful test of a vaccine against smallpox, and since then, vaccines have become one of the most important means of preventing and eradicating infectious diseases, ranging from minor ailments like the flu to devastating ones like polio.
With epidemic levels of whooping cough reported in the state of Washington that are creating the need for more immunizations resources, Walgreens on Tuesday announced that it is offering immunizations that provide protection against the highly contagious respiratory infection (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis-Tdap vaccine) at all of its 129 locations statewide.
With new Massachusetts state regulations allowing pharmacists to administer a broad range of immunizations, Walgreens has significantly expanded vaccine availability at all of its 165 locations across the state, and now is offering immunizations daily for 12 vaccines currently recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the retail pharmacy operator announced Wednesday.
It seems that many U.S. adults are unaware of what inoculations are government-recommended vaccinations, while more than half are not diligent about regular checkups with their primary care physician, according to a Walgreens survey.
The release by Walgreens of case studies that detail how retail pharmacy can expand access to immunizations is obviously important on several fronts, but it really makes one stop and wonder: What could be done if laws didn't vary by state in terms of what types of vaccinations pharmacists can deliver?
Walgreens on Tuesday released case studies presented last week before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2012 National Immunization Conference on how retail pharmacy can expand access to immunizations and help support disease-prevention initiatives.
The news that MinuteClinic is urging parents and guardians to protect their children and themselves by getting the proper vaccination is important as it not only addresses a serious health concern, but also underscores the valuable role that retail-based health clinics can play in health care.