August is National Immunization Awareness Month
Most of us think immunizations are things we get as kids. By the time we are in high school, we’re done, right? However, it’s important to stay up to date with our vaccinations even throughout our adult lives.
To keep our community safe, Village Pharmacy and Rocky Point Pavilion Pharmacy are proudly participating in National Immunization Awareness Month. Shots can prevent serious diseases like the flu, measles, and pneumonia. According to a recent report, vaccines will prevent about 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths among U.S. children born over the last 20 years, according to a recent report.
Over time, protection from vaccines can wear off and depending on your age, lifestyle, health and travel, you may be at risk for many preventable diseases, if you are not current with your immunizations.
All adults need the seasonal flu vaccine every year. We normally have the shots available at both of our stores starting in September. No appointment is necessary, so you can just walk in when it’s convenient and we can take care of you. The flu vaccine is especially important for people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, and older adults. Everyone age 6 months and older needs to get a flu vaccine every year.
If you did not receive a Tdap vaccine as a child, it’s important to get one as an adult.This vaccine will protect you against pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus and diptheria (Td) . You should repeat the Td vaccine every 10 years. Pregnant women should get a Tdap vaccine with each pregnancy, preferably at 27-36 weeks.
Not only are vaccines important to keep you healthy and prevent missed work, they also save you money on medical bills. If you are a caregiver, or healthcare worker and work directly with patients you should stay up-to-date with your own vaccines, to help prevent spreading illnesses to those with a weaker immune system.
Healthcare workers should also get the Hepatitis B vaccine. If you don’t have documented evidence of a complete hepB vaccine series, or if you don’t have an up-to-date blood test that shows you are immune to hepatitis B, then you should get the 3-dose series (dose #1 now, #2 in 1 month, #3 approximately 5 months after #2). Get anti-HBs serologic tested 1–2 months after dose #3.
Were you born in 1957 or later?
If so, and you have not had the MMR (Measles, Mumps, & Rubella) vaccine, you should see your doctor and get two doses of MMR, four weeks apart
Have you ever had Chickenpox?
If you have not had chickenpox (Varicella), or haven’t had the vaccine for it, you should get two doses of varicella, four weeks apart.
Do you have a student heading off to college?
If you have a student heading off to college, and received the Meningococcal vaccine before their 16th birthday, then they should get a booster shot before leaving home and moving into a dorm. This is required by some colleges and varies by state.
Are you planning on traveling or living abroad?
If so, certain vaccinations are recommended at least 4-6 weeks before your trip. Planning ahead will give you enough time to build up immunity and give you the best protection from preventable diseases. Visit the CDC Travel Health site for information, recommendations and requirement for your specific location before traveling.
Not sure if you’re up-to-date with your immunizations?
The CDC has an online quiz to help you determine which vaccines you need as an adult. You can print out the results and take it to your doctor or healthcare professional and get the vaccines you may have missed or need.
All of our pharmacists are certified to administer vaccines. We offer pneumonia and shingles vaccines daily and flu shots seasonally, and without a prescription. We can administer any other vaccine with a prescription upon request.
All of our pharmacists are certified to give immunizations including:
- Zostavax (shingles vaccine)
- Pneumovax (pneumonia vaccine)
- Prevnar 13 (pneumonia vaccine)
- Influenza (flu vaccine)
- Td (tetanus and diptheria vaccine)