Letter to the editor: Pharmacists good resource for vaccine information
As you point out in your recent editorial, “Vaccination info should be epidemic” (Aug. 24, TribLIVE), the safety of life-saving vaccines is backed by science, and it is essential that the public receives accurate information about the value of receiving immunizations.
Each year, an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 U.S. adults die, and hundreds of thousands of others become sick or hospitalized, from vaccine-preventable diseases. Unfortunately, we continue to see a rise in the number of people refusing to immunize themselves and their children due to misinformation about the safety of vaccines.
As experts trained in how medications interact with the body, pharmacists are in a unique position to counsel people on the safety and efficacy of immunizations. Currently, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico allow for pharmacist-provided immunizations in some capacity. In many areas, pharmacists are also one of the most accessible health care providers for vaccinations, with 90% of the U.S. population living within five miles of a pharmacist.
Anyone who has questions about vaccines should consult a pharmacist to learn more about the facts and importance of immunizations for a healthier life.
Lucinda L. Maine
The writers is executive vice president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.