Bellingham,WA August 2, 2012 – In recognition of National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), Hoagland Pharmacy is encouraging community members of all ages to protect their health by getting immunized against infectious diseases.
“As children prepare to return to school, now’s a great time for parents to ensure students of all ages – even college students – are caught up on recommended immunizations,” said Ruth Lang, LPN at Hoagland Pharmacy. “Flu season is only a short time away, so community members should take the time now to get their flu shots. Recent regional spikes in whooping cough also underscore the need for community members to work with their physician and local pharmacist to ensure that they’re up-to-date on other vaccinations as well.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 50,000 people die from vaccine-preventable diseases each year. Influenza and pneumococcal infections combined account for more than 90 percent of these deaths, making these preventable afflictions the 8th leading cause of death in the United States.¹
While routine vaccinations can prevent these and 15 additional potentially life-threatening diseases – including Hepatitis A/B, pneumococcal diseases, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis – whooping cough), MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) meningococcal disease, HPV (human papillomavirus) and “shingles” (herpes zoster) – adults and high risk populations are significantly under-immunized as compared to children.
“While many understand the importance of vaccinating our children against common diseases, all too often we forget adults need to make sure they’re up-to-date with vaccinations, too,” said Ruth Lang, LPN at Hoagland Pharmacy. “We want to be there to help our patients defend themselves against these diseases, which is why we offer easy, convenient access to routine immunizations for the entire community.”
To help members of the community better understand the importance of scheduled immunization and how they can be obtained conveniently and inexpensively, Lang offers the following tips:
- Don’t forget your flu shot. Each year, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized with influenza and influenza-related complications (pneumonia, reye syndrome, myocarditis, etc), accounting for more than 60 percent of all hospitalizations among people over 65-years-old. To safeguard against seasonal influenza, be sure to get vaccinated early. A prescription is not required and getting the vaccine early will help keep you and your family from contracting this harmful disease or spreading it to others.
- Start early, stay up-to-date. The CDC recommends that influenza vaccinations be administered to all persons aged 6-months and older who do not have contraindications or allergies to the vaccine. However, once an immunization regimen is started, it is critical to follow recommended vaccination schedules through childhood and adulthood to maintain immunity. For example, influenza vaccine requires patients to be immunized annually; other vaccines can remain effective for several years before a “booster” is required. Consult your physician and/or pharmacist to ensure your immunizations are up to date.
- Know when you need an immunization prescription. While all trained and certified pharmacists are authorized to administer the seasonal flu vaccine without a prescription – under physician protocol, some vaccinations may require a prescription from your primary care physician. To learn more about which vaccinations require a prescription from your primary care physician, visit or contact [NAME OF PHARMACY] during regular store hours.
- Utilize your coverage. Most private insurance companies include a vaccination program in their wellness benefit plans. Consult your coverage policy to better understand your immunizations coverage.
Hoagland Pharmacy offers vaccination services by appointment and welcome walk-ins for flu shots. The certified pharmacy staff at Hoagland Pharmacy also provides immunization delivery services to local area businesses, school systems and senior care facilities. If you are interested in these services please contact Carrie Stephens at (360) 685-5012 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the pharmacy services offered at Hoagland Pharmacy visit Hoagland Pharmacy or call Ruth Lang at (360) 685-5018 during store hours.
¹Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Achievements in Public Health, 1900–1999: Control of infectious diseases. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 1999 Jul 30; 48(29):621-9.
CDC. Estimates of deaths associated with seasonal influenza – United States, 1976-2007. MMWR 2010; 59(33):1057-62.
 VPD Surveillance Manual, 5th Edition, 2011 Influenza: Chapter 6-1