Immunizations and Screenings
When it comes to disease prevention, immunizations are key. Getting vaccinated protects you and those around you. Our main focus is to help you and your loved ones stay up-to-date on the recommended vaccines. We offer a variety of immunizations. Some of the vaccinations we offer are listed below:
- Flu vaccines
- Vaccines required before entering school
- A vaccine to prevent pneumonia
- A vaccine to prevent shingles
- Travel vaccines
Our highly qualified staff can easily administer these immunizations here at the pharmacy. Speak to a staff member today about the immunizations we offer.
1. What is typhoid?
Typhoid (typhoid fever) is a serious disease. It is caused by bacteria called Salmonella Typhi. Typhoid causes a high fever, fatigue, weakness, stomach pains, headache, loss of appetite, and sometimes a rash. If it is not treated, it can kill up to 30% of people who get it. Some people who get typhoid become “carriers,” who can spread the disease to others. Generally, people get typhoid from contaminated food or water. Typhoid is rare in the U.S., and most U.S. citizens who get the disease get it while traveling. Typhoid strikes about 21 million people a year around the world and kills about 200,000.
2. Typhoid vaccines Typhoid vaccine can prevent typhoid.
There are two vaccines to prevent typhoid. One is an inactivated (killed) vaccine gotten as a shot. The other is a live, attenuated (weakened) vaccine which is taken orally (by mouth).
3. Who should get typhoid vaccine and when?
Routine typhoid vaccination is not recommended in the United States, but typhoid vaccine is recommended for:
- Travelers to parts of the world where typhoid is common. (NOTE: typhoid vaccine is not 100% effective and is not a substitute for being careful about what you eat or drink).
- People in close contact with a typhoid carrier.
Hepatitis A & B
1. Why get vaccinated?
Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease. It is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is spread from person to person through contact with the feces (stool) of people who are infected, which can easily happen if someone does not wash his or her hands properly. You can also get hepatitis A from food, water, or objects contaminated with HAV.
Symptoms of hepatitis A can include:
- fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and/or joint pain
- severe stomach pains and diarrhea (mainly in children), or
- jaundice (yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements).
These symptoms usually appear 2 to 6 weeks after exposure and usually last less than 2 months, although some people can be ill for as long as 6 months. If you have hepatitis A you may be too ill to work.
Children often do not have symptoms, but most adults do. You can spread HAV without having symptoms. Hepatitis A can cause liver failure and death, although this is rare and occurs more commonly in persons 50 years of age or older and persons with other liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or C. Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent hepatitis A. Hepatitis A vaccines were recommended in the United States beginning in 1996. Since then, the number of cases reported each year in the U.S. has dropped from around 31,000 cases to fewer than 1,500 cases.
2. Hepatitis A Vaccine
Hepatitis A vaccine is an inactivated (killed) vaccine. You will need 2 doses for long-lasting protection. These doses should be given at least 6 months apart. Children are routinely vaccinated between their first and second birthdays (12 through 23 months of age). Older children and adolescents can get the vaccine after 23 months. Adults who have not been vaccinated previously and want to be protected against hepatitis A can also get the vaccine.
You should get hepatitis A vaccine if you:
- are traveling to countries where hepatitis A is common,
- are a man who has sex with other men,
- use illegal drugs,
- have a chronic liver disease such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C,
- are being treated with clotting-factor concentrates,
- work with hepatitis A-infected animals or in a hepatitis A research laboratory, or
- expect to have close personal contact with an international adoptee from a country where hepatitis A is common
Hepatitis B is a serious disease that affects the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B can cause mild illness lasting a few weeks, or it can lead to a serious, lifelong illness. Hepatitis B virus infection can be either acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis B virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the hepatitis B virus. This can lead to:
- fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and/or vomiting
- jaundice (yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements)
- pain in muscles, joints, and stomach
- chronic hepatitis B virus infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the hepatitis B virus remains in a person’s body. Most people who go on to develop chronic hepatitis B do not have symptoms, but it is still very serious and can lead to:
- liver damage (cirrhosis)
- liver cancer
Chronically-infected people can spread hepatitis B virus to others, even if they do not feel or look sick themselves. Up to 1.4 million people in the United States may have chronic hepatitis B infection. About 90% of infants who get hepatitis B become chronically infected and about 1 out of 4 of them dies. Hepatitis B is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected. People can become infected with the virus through:
- Birth (a baby whose mother is infected can be infected at or after birth)
- Sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person
Hepatitis B vaccine can prevent hepatitis B and its consequences, including liver cancer and cirrhosis.
2. Hepatitis B vaccine
Hepatitis B vaccine is made from parts of the hepatitis B virus. It cannot cause hepatitis B infection. The vaccine is usually given as 3 or 4 shots over a 6-month period. Infants should get their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth and will usually complete the series at 6 months of age.
All children and adolescents younger than 19 years of age who have not yet gotten the vaccine should also be vaccinated.
Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for unvaccinated adults who are at risk for hepatitis B virus infection, including:
- People whose sex partners have hepatitis B
- Sexually active persons who are not in a long-term monogamous relationship
- Persons seeking evaluation or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease
- Men who have sexual contact with other men
- People who share needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment
- People who have household contact with someone infected with the hepatitis B virus
- Health care and public safety workers at risk for exposure to blood or body fluids
- Residents and staff of facilities for developmentally
- disabled persons
- persons in correctional facilities
- victims of sexual assault or abuse
- travelers to regions with increased rates of hepatitis B
- people with chronic liver disease, kidney disease, HIV infection, or diabetes
- anyone who wants to be protected from hepatitis B
1. Why get vaccinated?
Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. It can lead to meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and infections of the blood. Meningococcal disease often occurs without warning — even among people who are otherwise healthy. Meningococcal disease can spread from person to person through close contact (coughing or kissing) or lengthy contact, especially among people living in the same household.
There are at least 12 types of N. meningitidis, called “serogroups.” Serogroups A, B, C, W, and Y cause most meningococcal disease.
Anyone can get meningococcal disease but certain people are at increased risk, including:
- Infants younger than one year old
- Adolescents and young adults 16 through 23 years old
- People with certain medical conditions that affect the immune system
- Microbiologists who routinely work with isolates of N. meningitides
- People at risk because of an outbreak in their community
Even when it is treated, meningococcal disease kills 10 to 15 infected people out of 100. And of those who survive, about 10 to 20 out of every 100 will suffer disabilities such as hearing loss, brain damage, kidney damage, amputations, nervous system problems, or severe scars from skin grafts.
Meningococcal ACWY vaccines can help prevent meningococcal disease caused by serogroups A, C, W, and Y. A different meningococcal vaccine is available to help protect against serogroup B.
Why get vaccinated?
Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis are very serious diseases. Tdap vaccine can protect us from these diseases. And, Tdap vaccine given to pregnant women can protect newborn babies against pertussis..
TETANUS (Lockjaw) is rare in the United States today. It causes painful muscle tightening and stiffness, usually all over the body.
- It can lead to tightening of muscles in the head and neck so you can’t open your mouth, swallow, or sometimes even breathe. Tetanus kills about 1 out of 10 people who are infected even after receiving the best medical care.
DIPHTHERIA is also rare in the United States today.
- It can cause a thick coating to form in the back of the throat.
- It can lead to breathing problems, heart failure, paralysis, and death.
- PERTUSSIS (Whooping Cough) causes severe coughing spells, which can cause difficulty breathing, vomiting and disturbed sleep.
It can also lead to weight loss, incontinence, and rib fractures. Up to 2 in 100 adolescents and 5 in 100 adults with pertussis are hospitalized or have complications, which could include pneumonia or death.
These diseases are caused by bacteria. Diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person through secretions from coughing or sneezing. Tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches, or wounds. Before vaccines, as many as 200,000 cases of diphtheria, 200,000 cases of pertussis, and hundreds of cases of tetanus, were reported in the United States each year. Since vaccination began, reports of cases for tetanus and diphtheria have dropped by about 99% and for pertussis by about 80%.
Tdap vaccine can protect adolescents and adults from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. One dose of Tdap is routinely given at age 11 or 12. People who did not get Tdap at that age should get it as soon as possible. Tdap is especially important for healthcare professionals and anyone having close contact with a baby younge rthan 12 months.
Pregnant women should get a dose of Tdap during every pregnancy, to protect the newborn from pertussis.
Infants are most at risk for severe, life-threatening complications from pertussis. Another vaccine, called Td, protects against tetanus and diphtheria, but not pertussis. A Td booster should be given every 10 years. Tdap may be given as one of these boosters if you have never gotten Tdap before. Tdap may also be given after a severe cut or burn to prevent tetanus infection.
Your doctor or the person giving you the vaccine can give you more information.
Tdap may safely be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Why get vaccinated?
Influenza (“flu”) is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually between October and May. Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Anyone can get flu. Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days. Symptoms vary by age, but can include:
- fever/chills • sore throat
- muscle aches
- runny or stuffy nose
Flu can also lead to pneumonia and blood infections, and cause diarrhea and seizures in children. If you have a medical condition, such as heart or lung disease, flu can make it worse. Flu is more dangerous for some people.
Infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions or a weakened immune system are at greatest risk. Each year thousands of people in the United States die from flu, and many more are hospitalized. Flu vaccine can:
- keep you from getting flu,
- make flu less severe if you do get it, and
- keep you from spreading flu to your family and other people.
Inactivated and recombinant flu vaccines
A dose of flu vaccine is recommended every flu season. Children 6 months through 8 years of age may need two doses during the same flu season. Everyone else needs only one dose each flu season.
Some inactivated flu vaccines contain a very small amount of a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal. Studies have not shown thimerosal in vaccines to be harmful, but flu vaccines that do not contain thimerosal are available. There is no live flu virus in flu shots. They cannot cause the flu. There are many flu viruses, and they are always changing. Each year a new flu vaccine is made to protect against three or four viruses that are likely to cause disease in the upcoming flu season.
But even when the vaccine doesn’t exactly match these viruses, it may still provide some protection. Flu vaccine cannot prevent:
- flu that is caused by a virus not covered by the vaccine, or
- illnesses that look like flu but are not.
It takes about 2 weeks for protection to develop after vaccination, and protection lasts through the flu season.
Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccination
Shingles is a painful localized skin rash often with blisters that is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles because VZV remains in the nerve cells of the body after the chickenpox infection clears and VZV can reappear years later causing shingles. Shingles most commonly occurs in people 50 years old or older, people who have medical conditions that keep the immune system from working properly, or people who receive immunosuppressive drugs.
Shingles vaccine is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to reduce the risk of shingles and its associated pain in people 60 years old or olde.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended for all children less than 59 months old. In addition, children aged more than 24 months who are at high risk of pneumococcal disease and adults with risk factors may receive the pneumococcal polysaccaride vaccine.
Pneumococcal disease can be fatal. In some cases, it can result in long-term problems, like brain damage, hearing loss, and limb loss.
Planning on traveling to Africa, Central America or South America? Before jetting off, make sure you are up to date on routine vaccinations. Depending on where you are traveling, you may also need to get certain vaccinations. If you are not sure what vaccinations you need, there’s no need to worry. We’ve got you covered.
Receiving vaccinations prior to your trip will help keep you and your family safe and healthy while traveling. Knowing you are protected from diseases like malaria, yellow fever and typhoid will give you peace of mind so you can spend your time enjoying yourself.
It’s important to get vaccinated at least four to six weeks before you travel. This will give the vaccines time to start working and help ensure you are fully protected while you’re traveling.
Speak to a staff member today about the travel immunizations we offer and how we can prevent you from bringing home unintended souvenirs.