Walgreens offers immunizations for wellness

Published 10:37 am Monday, December 16, 2013

Ready to help patients is Mike Pritchett, PharmD, with Walgreens on Pelham Parkway. (contributed)

Ready to help patients is Mike Pritchett, PharmD, with Walgreens on Pelham Parkway. (contributed)

By DONNA CAMPBELL/Community columnist

Chances are you or someone you know has the flu. Did you get your flu shot this year? For those wanting to take preventive action for wellness, Walgreens on Pelham Parkway offers immunizations for a nominal charge.

“The most common vaccines we offer are those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and given to those age 7 and over,” said Mike Pritchett, PharmD with Walgreens. “The focus right now is the influenza vaccine.”

According to Dr. Pritchett, the best prevention for the flu is the flu shot. Influenza is a contagious disease that spreads from person to person through coughing, sneezing and close contact. The flu season is typically between October and May.

Other immunizations offered by Walgreens include Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), shingles and pneumonia.

“The Tdap vaccine is recommended once every 10 years and protects from lockjaw, diphtheria and whooping cough; the shingles vaccine is one shot for a lifetime, usually given to those age 60 and over,” Pritchett said. “The vaccine for pneumonia is usually one dose before age 64; a second dose is recommended for those over age 65 with a compromised immune system, making sure the second dose is given five years or more after the first dose.”

Walgreens can provide customers with a patient medication record, which is beneficial for those needing to keep track of immunizations for travel, school or overall health.

“Part of the relationship between pharmacist and patient is trust that medications are tracked to avoid complications and possible interactions,” Pritchett said. “We are here to answer questions, provide consultation and dispense the proper meds.”

Phil Caruso, media relations with Walgreens, sums it up best: “We help patients get, stay and live well.”

Donna Campbell is a community columnist for the city of Pelham and can be reached at dcampbell45@att.net.