A coalition of pharmacy organizations has asserted its commitment to vaccinations for preventing and eliminating communicable diseases.

Pharmacists for Healthier Lives aims to raise awareness around the full range of health care services that pharmacists provide to consumers and patients. In a public statement, the organization is urging every eligible person to receive vaccinations to protect themselves and their communities.

“The recent rise in reported cases of measles in the U.S. has once again cast a spotlight on the importance of vaccinations to maintain a health population,” said the organization.

So far, 2019 has shown a large increase in the number of confirmed measles cases in the US—1,044 confirmed cases in 28 states between January 1 and June 13, 2019. This is the greatest number of cases in the US since 1992, before measles was declared eliminated in 2000.

According to Pharmacists for Healthier Lives, misinformation about vaccines is to blame for the rise of people refusing to immunize themselves and their children. The rise of measles corresponds with recent data showing the decline of eligible people receiving vaccines.

The rate of US adults receiving vaccinations from pharmacists has continued to grow since states began allowing pharmacists to provide immunizations to adults in 1996. According to CDC estimates, the number of adults who received a vaccination from a pharmacist increased from 24.3% to 28.3% between 2016 and 2017.

“It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it after it occurs,” said the CDC, on its website.

Pharmacists for Healthier Lives is encouraging patients to not only to receive immunizations, but to also seek the council of pharmacists to learn more about the safety and efficacy of vaccines.

“As the medication experts on the healthcare team, pharmacists can review prescription records and, along with patient interviews, assess vaccination needs and identify patients at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases,” the organization said in their statement. “Pharmacists can also provide counsel on the safety and efficacy of immunizations, so patients can make an informed decision about vaccinations.”

The statement also emphasized that there is no scientific evidence that approved immunizations can cause disorders, diseases, or life-threatening side effects.


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Reference

Pharmacists for Healthier Lives Releases Statement on the Importance of Vaccinations [news release]. Arlington, VA; July 9, 2019: Pharmacists for Healthier Lives. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pharmacists-for-healthier-lives-releases-statement-on-the-importance-of-vaccinations-300881287.html. Accessed July 11, 2019. 

Vaccines: Van-Gen/Why Are Childhood Vaccines So Important? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/howvpd.htm. Accessed July 12, 2019.