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Consumers Encouraged to Get Immunized Against Influenza
Date:8/17/2010

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) is encouraging consumers to get immunized against influenza and to consider their local pharmacy as the site to receive their vaccine. Pharmacists in all 50 states including the District of Columbia are authorized to administer influenza vaccines and, as of June 30, 2010, more than 120,000 U.S. pharmacists have been trained to administer immunizations.

"The pharmacist is the public's most accessible health care provider, and they play an important role on the health care team in protecting their communities from the spread of disease," said APhA CEO and Executive Vice President Thomas Menighan. "We are encouraging consumers to take proactive steps to support their individual and community's public health care goals. Visit your local pharmacy to get immunized and hold an open discussion with your pharmacist about any questions or concerns you may have regarding the upcoming influenza season or other vaccine preventable diseases."

Annually, 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population is infected by influenza, resulting in nearly 36,000 deaths and over 200,000 hospitalizations, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Consistent with the new recommendations by the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), APhA recommends that all persons six months of age and older be vaccinated each year. Protection of persons at higher risk for influenza-related complications continues to be a focus of vaccination efforts as providers and programs transition to routine vaccination of all persons older than 6 months.

According to the CDC, distribution of the 2010-2011 vaccine has started and providers should begin vaccinating patients as soon as supply is available to them. Consumers are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated early in the season, but immunizations can be received as long as vaccine supply is available. APhA encourages consumers
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SOURCE American Pharmacists Association
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