Getting the influenza (flu) vaccination is critical this year to avoid the potential for a viral perfect storm with both the flu and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) circulating in communities throughout the country.

For this reason, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) have been encouraging state legislators to promote this critical public health message regarding flu vaccination.

“NACDS wants to help and encourage state legislators to convey to their constituents the critical importance of getting the flu vaccination. It is especially important this year to help prevent a 2-front public health war with flu and COVID-19,” said NACDS president and CEO Steven C. Anderson, FASAE, CAE, IOM, in a press release. “Localizing this message is very important and the leadership of state legislators who are close to their communities can make a real difference. Pharmacists, who are among the most trusted and accessible health care professionals and who serve as the face of neighborhood healthcare, are here to help.”

In order to make clear the position that pharmacies are a pivotal player in not only supporting but implementing the message of the importance of the flu vaccine this year, NACDS took a highly visible role at the National Conference of State Legislatures Base Camp 2020, a virtual event that was held September 15 to 17.

In addition, NACDS released video ads in both English and Spanish that were designed to spread the message of the flu vaccine’s importance. They prepared an online toolkit that allows patient groups, allied health care associations, businesses, government, and others to sign up as partners and to use the available ads, polling data, and social media resources for further promotion of the public health message. Furthermore, NACDS has been working to share this message through television and radio interviews to be aired throughout the country.

NASPA has also been working to promote the importance of the flu vaccine by contributing the organization’s leadership to communications on the importance of the flu vaccination and the critical role of pharmacies during this pandemic.

“As partners in public health, state pharmacy associations are encouraging all pharmacists to actively engage with and educate their patients on the importance of getting a flu shot based on CDC recommendations,” said NASPA executive vice president and CEO Rebecca P. Snead, RPh, CAE, FAPhA, in a press release. “Pharmacists are the most accessible health care providers for flu shots and great resources for information on all recommended vaccines and other public health needs across the lifespan.”

REFERENCE
NACDS Engages State Legislators in Flu Vaccination Awareness Campaign. Airlington, VA: NACDS; September 15, 2020. nacds.org/news/nacds-engages-state-legislators-in-flu-vaccination-awareness-campaign/. Accessed September 21, 2020.