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ACIP votes to recommend using nasal spray flu vaccine instead of the flu shot in children ages 2 years to 8 years

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday voted to recommend a preference for using the nasal spray flu vaccine instead of the flu shot in healthy children ages 2 years to 8 years of age when it is immediately available. 

This new ACIP recommendation is based on a review of available studies that suggests the nasal spray flu vaccine can provide better protection than the flu shot in this age group against laboratory-confirmed, medically attended flu illness. The recommendation also says that if the nasal spray flu vaccine is not immediately available, the flu shot should be given so that opportunities to vaccinate children are not missed or delayed. 

Flu shots continue to be approved and recommended for vaccination of children and adults as indicated. Since 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ACIP have recommended that everyone ages 6 months and older get a flu vaccine annually with rare exception. This new ACIP recommendation must next be approved by the CDC director. The recommendation would then be incorporated into the 2014-15 influenza prevention and control recommendations, and published in a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, at which point it would become official CDC policy.

ACIP is a panel of immunization experts that advises the CDC.

 

 

 

 

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GelStat launches Chews 2 Lose Appetite Suppressant Gum

BY Michael Johnsen

PALM CITY, Fla. — GelStat on Tuesday announced that it has launched its new weight-loss diet aid Chews 2 Lose Appetite Suppressant Gum and has signed a distribution agreement with Windmill Health Products. Windmill serves more than 3,500 independent pharmacies and is initially placing "Chews 2 Lose Appetite Suppressant Gum" in 300 of these pharmacies.

"Our pharmacies like the fact that we bring them new innovative products of this caliber," said Bruce Burns, Windmill SVP. "We have nothing else like Chews 2 Lose in our product offerings, it's a very unique, simple to use problem solution product. The high-end looking display and packaging will certainly grab attention on the countertops."

Started by Ed Frankel, who is a pharmacist, Windmill serves more than 3,500 independent pharmacies exclusively with their Independent Pharmacy Division. Windmill represents third-party brands (currently GelStat Migraine) along with an entire self-branded line of vitamins, supplements and products for a healthy lifestyle. 

 

 

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CVS/pharmacy, MinuteClinic providing pertussis vaccine in all Calif. locations

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic have announced that they are offering the pertussis vaccine at all of its locations across California as the state’s whooping cough epidemic continues.

Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccinations are available at more than 850 CVS/pharmacy locations and 47 MinuteClinic sites inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in California. CVS pharmacists in California can vaccinate anyone at least 9 years old. MinuteClinic nurse practitioners can vaccinate anyone ages 18 months or older (children under the age of 7 years will receive the DTaP vaccine).

"Providing a range of important vaccinations at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic is part of our purpose of helping people on their path to better health," stated Papatya Tankut, VP of pharmacy affairs at CVS Caremark. "This includes the Tdap vaccine, which is the best protection against the whooping cough outbreak that has struck California."

According to the California Department of Public Health, the pertussis vaccination is recommended for pregnant women in their third trimester (regardless of any previous Tdap vaccination), infants at least 6 weeks old and children and adults who are not up to date on their vaccinations or who are in regular contact with an infant. Adults should receive a Tdap booster shot every 10 years.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection, and symptoms vary by age. Children's symptoms typically start with a cough and runny nose for up to two weeks, leading to worsening coughs that end with a "whooping" sound. Adult symptoms may be a cough that persists for several weeks. Young infants may have no apparent cough but their faces may turn red or purple.

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