By Victoria Mullen
Do you shudder at the thought and inconvenience of scheduling a doctor’s appointment to get a flu shot? Even if you’re a fan of seeing the doctor—and personally, I know nobody who is—the waiting times can be long and annoying. Well, there’s another, more convenient alternative: Your friendly neighborhood pharmacist.
And you don’t even need an appointment.
Michigan pharmacists are licensed and trained to administer any vaccination; the most common are flu, pneumonia, shingles and whooping cough. And because pharmacists are required to keep updated on new regulations and methods, they are a reliable source for information and care.
Harboring doubts? These facts should put your mind at ease:
1. Pharmacists are the most accessible health care professionals and community pharmacies typically have flexible hours, including evening hours. If you work nine to five, this is a game-changer. You won’t need to take time off work, and chances are, you live within five miles of the nearest pharmacy, so it should be a short trip.
2. State law permits pharmacists to administer immunizations in the state of Michigan. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control recognizes pharmacists as key contributors to immunization efforts.
3. Your neighborhood pharmacist can give you personalized support. Your immunization records are available for review and he or she can evaluate your requirements based on age, lifestyle, health status, occupation and other health conditions. You’ll get specific recommendations on what you may need. Because recommendations may change annually, you could be behind on something and not realize it.
4. Best of all, you can add the trip for your flu shot to your other regular errands like grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions.
Now there really isn’t any reason for putting off that flu shot!