Counseling Parents on Immunizations During Back-To-School Season
Pharmacy Times spoke with Suzanne Soliman, PharmD, BCMAS, about how pharmacists can prepare their patients for the back-to-school season amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the upcoming flu season.
Communication is key, Soliman said, whether counseling parents on their children’s needed immunizations or advising them on mental health concerns. Anxieties are common, she said, especially during this unique school year. If children are anxious, Soliman recommended explaining the importance of certain safety measures, such as wearing masks and washing hands, and how those measures help keep them and others safe.
Parents should also make sure they have items such as emergency inhalers and EpiPens before their children return to school. Soliman also said she keeps packets of electrolyte powder stocked at home, instead of waiting until someone gets sick.
Finally, Soliman said she was excited to see the declaration from HHS authorizing all pharmacists to order and administer vaccines for patients over the age of 3 during the COVID-19 pandemic. With this declaration and their role as the most accessible health care providers, Soliman said pharmacists have a great opportunity to ensure pediatric patients are up-to-date on all necessary immunizations.