August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so we thought that we would take this time to discuss some of the immunization and vaccination services that we offer at MacDonald’s Pharmacy. By now, you should have your back-to-school immunization taken care of, but there are other vaccinations that we recommend people get throughout the year to protect against preventable diseases.
Here is a quick look at some of the more common vaccines to be aware of this fall.
It may still feel like summer outside, but as we move into the early fall months, we are on the cusp of Flu Season. The flu shot is available and recommended to every body, but it is especially important for the young, the elderly and the immuno-suppressed. The ideal time to get it is during September and October – before flu season hits the hardest. The vaccine usually includes the four strains of the flu that are most likely to be abundant in our region. There is a high-dose flu shot available for people over the age of 65 that triggers a larger immune system response.
The pneumonia vaccine is primarily indicated for adults aged 65 years and up, although it is also recommended that people with asthma, COPD or other respiratory complications consider getting it. The pneumonia vaccine is a two-part series – one shot now, and a follow-up shot one year later.
The shingles shot is also recommended for anyone over the age of 65 – especially for anybody who has had the chickenpox. People whose immune systems are currently suppressed on account of HIV or cancer treatment, organ transplant or other medical program should also talk to their doctor about getting the shingles shot regardless of age.
The pneumonia and shingles vaccines are not season-specific and can be received at any time of year.
Besides getting people ready to go back to school or prepare for flu season, we also provide immunizations for travelers. The vaccination requirements vary depending on the area or region of the world that you’re traveling to in addition to all of your regular shots. Malaria prophylaxis and typhoid are the biggest two, but there are others. Due to the specialized nature of these vaccines, we might have to order them in or, in some rare cases, refer patients elsewhere.
Pharmacists who are certified to administer vaccines participate in live training and maintain a CPR certification. On top of this, they participate in a continuing education program and complete a required number of credits every two years to keep their licenses active. This commitment to learning allows us to remain up-to-date and one step ahead of preventable diseases.
An appointment isn’t required, but we do recommend that you contact us ahead of time so we can be sure to have a certified pharmacist available to get you in and out and on your way. The entire process typically takes 20-30 minutes.
Feel free to call us or stop into the pharmacy in McConnellsburg to make sure you are ready for flu season.