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London Drugs helps Canadians get immunized

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RICHMOND, British Columbia — Pharmacists at London Drugs are working with the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) to help educate parents about immunization options as their children head back to school.

London Drugs Olympic Village Vancouver store_WEBThe western Canada drug chain said the CMA has expressed concern about falling immunization rates in Canada and seeks more efforts to educate parents who hesitate to get vaccinations for their children. At the association’s recent annual meeting, physicians voted to ask that provincial governments nationwide authorize schools to require a mandatory declaration of immunization status for all students.

“If results indicate that a student has not been immunized, there would then be a conversation between public health officials and parents,” the CMA stated.

For its part, London Drugs is spreading the word to parents that getting their children ready to go back to school or the dorm doesn’t just involve having the necessary school supplies and latest tech gear — but it also means ensure that both children and adults have up-to-date vaccinations to prevent potentially serious health issues.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) recently expressed concern about declining immunization rates in Canada and would like to see more efforts to educate parents who hesitate to pursue vaccination for their children. The physicians also voted to ask that governments across the country authorize schools to require a mandatory declaration of immunization status for all students.

CMA issued a press release that states, “If results indicate that a student has not been immunized, there would then be a conversation between public health officials and parents.”

London Drugs pharmacists are joining the CMA to help educate parents on immunization options as back to school nears. Getting ready for back to school or dorm isn’t limited to making sure you have the right school supplies and latest tech gear. It also means making sure grade school children and adults have the proper and up-to-date vaccinations to prevent potentially serious health issues from coming in contact with a variety of communicable diseases.

Vaccines available at London Drugs include preschool immunizations (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella), shingles (herpes zoster), human papilloma virus (HPV), meningococcal, pneumococcal, whooping cough (pertussis), polio and influenza.

The drug chain noted that public health agencies will often provide the recommended vaccinations for grade school children, and most parents will find their schools will offer these programs in affiliation with their provincial public health agency. The Public Health Agency of Canada’s recommended immunization schedule provides a breakdown of what vaccinations are recommended and at what age they should be administered.

“It’s important to communicate to the child what is about to happen, and tell them when they will be getting their needle,” Anil Goorachurn, a pharmacy manager for London Drugs, said in a statement. “When we administer a vaccine, we will often try and take their mind off of the needle by thinking of a favorite memory or asking about a friend. Helping them to stay calm and focus on something happy is a great way for parents to help their child be prepared.”

Children in school are at higher risk for sharing the flu virus, so being prepared for the upcoming flu season is also strongly recommended by London Drugs pharmacists. The chain is urging parents to ask if they, or their children, qualify for a publicly funded flu shot. The flu vaccine is slated to become available at all 78 London Drugs stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in late October, and availability — and immunization age allowance — will vary by province.

“By getting the influenza vaccination early in the season, as well as taking some simple and healthy preventative actions, you not only protect yourself, but you protect others because you are less likely to spread the flu,” Goorachurn explained. “This is especially important in grade school, where children tend to share things like clothing, beverages and snacks.”

London Drugs pharmacists also recommend that post-secondary students who may not have had certain vaccinations during their grade school years to ask about their options, especially students who are travelling abroad for their schooling. London Drugs travel immunizations will provide the vaccines that adult students will need to keep them protected outside Canada.

“If you are travelling outside of the country to study, you may require vaccines to prevent diseases prevalent in the countries where you travel,” noted Goorachurn. “These include but are not limited to hepatitis A and B, yellow fever, cholera and typhoid fever.”

Hepatitis A and B are easy to contract in many parts of the world. Those traveling to Mexico, South America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, South East Asia, China and the Middle East are at greatest risk for contracting hepatitis A. Vaccines against hepatitis A and B are usually given together in a vaccine product called Twinrix, available at London Drugs pharmacies. The chain said this vaccine can be injected by a doctor (or other primary health care professional) or by a London Drugs travel medicine pharmacist or other certified injection pharmacist.


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