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Nation's Pharmacists Ready to Administer Seasonal Flu Vaccines
Date:9/20/2011

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) is encouraging consumers to get immunized against influenza and to speak with their pharmacist about the options available at their local pharmacy. Pharmacists are authorized to give flu vaccinations in all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico, and more than 150,000 U.S. pharmacists have been trained in the practice of immunization administration. The CDC estimates that approximately 20% of the seasonal flu vaccinations given to adults during the 2010-2011 season were administered by pharmacists.

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"APhA encourages consumers to be proactive and talk to their pharmacist about their vaccination needs and the immunization process at the pharmacy," said APhA CEO and Executive Vice President Thomas Menighan.  "A pharmacist goes through six years or more of school, depending on his/her area of specialization. In addition to their specialized training as medication experts, pharmacists can go through a formal training program to gain the skill set and knowledge to administer immunizations. This formal training helps ensure reliable and consistent immunization care for patients. "

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population is infected with influenza every year, and over the past 31 years, annual influenza related deaths have ranged from 3,000 to 49,000. Consistent with the recommendations by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), APhA recommends that all persons six months of age and older be vaccinated each year.

"The local pharmacy is a convenient and easily accessible place to get your flu shot," stated Vincent Hartzell, Owner and Director of Patient Care Services, Hartzell's Pharmacy. "Your pharmacist is
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SOURCE American Pharmacists Association
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