Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Posted by: Kathleen Goodner
Pneumococcal: The pneumococcal conjugate and polysaccharide vaccine recommendations were changed in August 2015, recommending both vaccines for adults 65 years and older. The recommendations can be very confusing. The Immunization Action Coalition has developed a helpful pocket guide to help: http://www.immunize.org/pocketguides/pocketguide_pneumococcal_2016.pdf
Pregnant Women: Many Obstetricians and midwives do not stock vaccines, therefore pharmacies are a perfect site to refer pregnant women for their recommended influenza and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccines recommended with each pregnancy. Managed Medicaid plans are required to pay for vaccines for their patients in the pharmacy as of a contract change in 2015. Early epidemiology data in Washington indicates that our hospitalization rate of infants has dropped in half since we have been vaccinating pregnant women! We are making a difference!
Chicken Pox: Washington State is newly requiring 2 doses of chicken pox vaccine for children attending 7-12th grade public schools. This is the first secondary immunization requirement in the state. Community Pharmacists should be prepared to see more teens and tweens in their pharmacy. This is a great time to recommend the meningococcal vaccine (1 dose recommended at 11-12 years, second dose between 16 and 18 years old) and the HPV vaccine (3 dose series at 0, 1-2 and 6 months), and Tdap vaccine (1 dose 11-12 years, also required to attend school).
IACW: Immunization Action Coalition of Washington is a grassroots organization dedicated to improving immunization rates and access in Washington State. Jenny Arnold, has been the first pharmacist Chair of this Organization over the last 2 years. The IACW has Quarterly Membership meetings that are open to anyone who is interested in immunizations. The next meeting will be April 20th from 12-2 pm at the Tukwila Community Center in Tukwila, WA. The speaker will be LJ Tan, MS, PhD, Chief Strategy Office for the Immunization Action Coalition in Washington, DC. You are welcome to attend for a great discussion, networking, and to learn more about this innovative group. Or sign up for the IACW listserve and newsletter for updates and schedule of meetings by emailing Sara Jaye Sanford.