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Flu season is in full swing, and many are clamoring for their vaccines to try and keep the dreaded illness at bay. October is also American Pharmacist Month, so this is a great time for a reminder about one of the most convenient ways to access your flu shot: at your local community pharmacy. Unfortunately, in many states pharmacists can only administer flu shots, but not vaccines for whooping cough or pneumonia. Why the disparity? A vaccine is a vaccine is a vaccine, right? Well, not exactly in the eyes of the law.

Slate reports:

The push to turn pharmacists into vaccinators dates back at least to the mid-1990s. Donna Shalala, then secretary of Health and Human Services, saw it as a way to improve the country’s immunization rates and pressed the American Pharmacists’ Association to develop a plan, according to Mitch Rothholz, chief strategy officer for that organization. Some states already had laws on the books that allowed pharmacists to immunize people, even if these provisions were rarely used. The APhA developed a rigorous training program for pharmacists. State pharmacy associations also began to lobby their legislatures. But for years it was slow going.
Traditionally, doctors were the go-to health care professionals when it came to vaccinations, but pharmacies are easily accessible, convenient and affordable. Plus, community pharmacists are highly educated on administering vaccines and are readily available to discuss vaccines and how to keep communities healthy. At a time when many people don’t have health insurance (so they’re not going to doctors), and many healthy people just don’t go to the doctor, then letting pharmacists administer flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines in all 50 states makes a whole lot of sense.

Click here to read the full coverage at Slate, and visit Pharmacy Choice and Access Now to learn more about how you can support community pharmacies and speak out about enabling pharmacists to administer more vaccines!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Never get a flu shot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, snoopydawg

    Used to get flu shots, but got sick every time. Same with my cousin. Haven't gotten a flu shot in years, and haven't gotten sick since I stopped getting them. My mother refused them too, and never got sick. I haven't even had a cold in over a decade.

    Why do you think some people get sick when they get flu shots? I know it doesn't happen to everyone, but it happens a lot in my family. Maybe it's genetic or something.

  •  Always get a flu shot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ontheleftcoast, Catte Nappe

    My spleen was removed a few years ago, so I have a slightly higher risk of illness.

    I've gotten a flu shot for years, and have been lucky not to have had any bad side-effects, and lucky enough not to have ever gotten the flu.

    Please proceed, governor

    by Senor Unoball on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:28:59 AM PDT

  •  I get my flu shot at the local pharmacy. (4+ / 0-)

    Largely because it's so damn convenient. I don't need to make an appointment I just show up. And since they're the pharmacy I use to get my prescriptions filled they have all my healthcare information and bill my insurance which gladly (and wisely) pays for immunizations. I just make sure I tell my doctor about it on my next visit so he can update my records.

    Every time Romney and Republicans mention Benghazi it proves they are the sort of opportunists that would mine for gold in a graveyard.

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:33:54 AM PDT

  •  Had mine last week (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball

    My General Practioner's office sent a text message to me reminding me that I should arrange one. Fixed it up and took about 10 minutes - most of which was taken up by the nurse practioner getting supplies of the vaccine from the store.

    The NHS in England provide these free to target groups and doctors get a financial incentive to reach a certain percentage of their patients.

    Although the references to G.P.s etc are not relevant for the USA, this page provides some useful general guidance, including for those who have egg allergies and those who have experienced problems in the past.

    Why doesn't Mitt Romney carry an iPhone? Because he has an Ann Droid.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 08:36:59 AM PDT

  •  Thanks to my new ACA compliant... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, Senor Unoball, Catte Nappe

    health insurance plan, I can get my flu shot for free through the Mollen clinics which set up shop in supermarkets here in Arizona at this time of year. I just walked in, they took my card got my info and gave me the shot. No line and I was done in 5 minutes.

    Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

    by Ian S on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 09:00:01 AM PDT

  •  Took care of it last week (0+ / 0-)

    Also checked on availability for whooping cough and shingles. The pharmacy we went to does those too, but lordy - the $$$ they want! About $60 for whooping cough, neighborhood of $200 for shingles. We learned there is some slight chance our insurance might cover part of it, but we need to check that out before deciding anything.

    "...you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

    by Catte Nappe on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 10:56:23 AM PDT

  •  I went into costco and asked about the shot (0+ / 0-)

    The next day when I was on the way to costco to get the shot I stopped at the post office and in my PO Box was a letter from costco saying that I should come in for the shot .

    Anyway I got the shot . $16 if I recall correctly .
    $16 for skipping having the flu is a great deal imho .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 11:02:38 AM PDT

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