PHARMACY

Chauncey Billups tapped as Vaccines for Teens spokesman

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Chauncey Billups, point guard for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets team, was named the latest spokesman for a national multimedia campaign designed to educate preteens, teens and their parents about the importance of vaccination against serious, potentially life-threatening diseases.

As the latest spokesman for Vaccine for Teens, Billups will be featured in a new public service announcement, which will air on NBA media and network/cable game broadcasts.

Vaccine for Teens, which launched last year, is a collaboration between NBA Cares, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines business of Sanofi-Aventis.

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Study: Gardasil is effective in preventing genital warts among males

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Merck’s vaccine for human papillomavirus is 89% effective in preventing genital warts in teenage boys and young men, according to a new study.

The phase-3 study of Gardasil (human papillomavirus quadrivalent [types 6, 11, 16 and 18] vaccine, recombinant) in boys and men ages 16 to 26 years was published in the Feb. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Human papillomavirus is the cause of genital and anal warts, and infection can increase the risk of developing cancer later in life.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine for preventing anal cancer in males and females ages 9 to 26 years in December 2010, based on part of this study.

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Walgreens offers pertussis immunizations at Colorado stores

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With the state of Colorado experiencing an increase in the number of reported whooping cough cases, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been encouraging vaccination to help increase immunity and stop the spread of the disease.

In response to this, Walgreens on Thursday announced that it now is offering immunizations that provide protection against pertussis (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis-Tdap vaccine) at all of its more than 150 stores throughout the state, every day, with no appointment necessary.

“We support the recommendations of health officials that one of the best things people can do to keep themselves and their families healthy during this pertussis outbreak is to get vaccinated,” stated Howard Atlas, Colorado market VP for Walgreens. “There is strong awareness about the benefits of the vaccine, and hopefully we can continue to see a decline in the number of cases statewide through more people heeding the health department’s advice.”

Walgreens pharmacists in Colorado can administer immunizations to anyone ages 9 years and older, and immunizations are available during pharmacy hours at all locations.

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