At Smith Caldwell Pharmacy, we work hard to keep our customers healthy. From our selection of custom compounded medications to prescription medication delivery service, we go above and beyond to make your health and well-being our number one priority.
That is why seeing our customers suffer from preventable diseases which can have a lasting effect on their health saddens us. The bacteria and viruses responsible for these illnesses still exist, however. You or your family members can be infected if you are not vaccinated.
Every year, thousands of people are hospitalized by diseases that could have been prevented by vaccination. You receive some vaccinations as a child, and they last throughout your life. Others must be renewed when you reach adulthood or on a regular basis. Tetanus shots, for example, should be updated every ten years; the flu is vaccinated against annually.
Not sure if, how, or when you should vaccinate? Ask a pharmacist! Smith Caldwell Pharmacy is here to help you keep up with the best vaccination schedule for your age group and health conditions. Not convinced? Let’s talk about the top seven reasons why you should be vaccinating.
1. Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Haven’t Gone Away
While it may feel as if diseases like polio and measles have been eradicated in the U.S., the bacteria and viruses responsible for those diseases are still around and can infect anyone who is unprotected by a vaccine.
Worse, even if you are young and healthy enough to survive the disease, you can pass it on to vulnerable populations who are unable to receive vaccinations, like infants and the immunocompromised. Furthermore, in a world where people can travel the globe in a matter of days, diseases can also travel, infecting populations without immunity to certain diseases and causing incalculable damage.
2. Vaccines Will Keep You Healthy
The CDC recommends vaccinations throughout your life to keep you healthy and protect you from a variety of infections. When you skip vaccines, you are leaving yourself open and vulnerable to illnesses like influenza, shingles, pneumococcal disease, and HPV or Hepatitis B — both of which are leading causes of cancer.
You can get your flu shot — and a number of other vaccines — right here at Smith Caldwell Pharmacy. If you have any questions, just give us a call to ask a pharmacist.
3. Vaccinations Can Be the Difference Between Life and Death
Vaccine-preventable infections kill approximately 50,000 adults in America every year. There are sixteen diseases considered to be under control or eradicated through the use of vaccines:
|Varicella Zoster||Hepatitis A||Pneumococcal disease||Haemophilus influenzae|
|Influenza||Meningococcal Disease||Tetanus||Pneumococcal disease|
|Human Papillomavirus (HPV)||Measles|
Even though these diseases are considered “eradicated,” hundreds of thousands of people each year contract and are treated for them. Those who are infected can pass these diseases on to other people in their hospital, doctor’s office, workplace, and family who are not vaccinated (specifically those unable to get vaccinated), widening the spread of the disease.
Vaccines were developed for a reason — to prevent loss of life and protect our communities from disastrous epidemics. Ask a pharmacist at Smith Caldwell which of these vaccines are available and appropriate for you.
4. Vaccines Are Safe
The number one excuse we hear against vaccinating is, “How do I know it’s safe? Anything could be in there!” This is far from the truth. The United States has the best post-licensure surveillance system in the world, which means the vaccines produced and used in this country are extremely safe.
There is strong data from many different medical investigators all pointing to the safety of vaccinations. Did you know vaccines are considered by doctors and scientists to be among the safest products in all of medicine?
5. Vaccines Will Not Give You the Disease They Are Designed to Prevent
Vaccines are sometimes made from elements of the diseases they treat. That they can infect you with the disease is blatantly untrue. You cannot catch the disease from the vaccine.
Most vaccines contain a “killed” virus, making it impossible to get the disease from them. Even the vaccines containing “live” viruses have been altered and weakened by design to ensure you cannot catch the disease.
Some people report side effects after receiving the flu shot — low-grade fever, muscle aches, headache, etc. These side effects are not the same as having the flu. Even if you experience these side effects, they are easily treated with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. Feeling a little under the weather for a day or two is still much better than having the flu, which has an average length of about two weeks.
6. Young and Healthy People Can Get Sick Too
Infants, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems (like chemotherapy patients) are at greater risk of serious complications when they are infected with a disease. However, even young, healthy people can fall seriously ill without the protection of a vaccine. Your immune system, no matter how healthy, can only do so much against diseases it is not prepared for.
If you are young and healthy, stay that way by keeping up with your vaccinations.
7. Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Are Expensive
The average influenza (flu) illness can last up to two weeks, typically with about a week of workdays missed. If you don’t have sick days, you aren’t being paid for at least a week. If you do have sick days, you use them all up at once!
Adults who get hepatitis A end up missing an average of one month of work. This includes hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, and days at home sick. A vaccination costs less than (at minimum) a week’s worth of pay — and most vaccines are covered by insurance or are available through county health departments.
Furthermore, expenses do not just affect individuals. They also impact the healthcare system and health insurance costs. The American Journal of Managed Care released a study assessing the cost of vaccine-preventable diseases. They found a single case of measles costs the medical system about $140,000 to contain. Between 2014 and 2019, the total cost of containing measles (a disease declared eradicated in 2000) was approximately $266 million dollars.
That’s just measles! Although immunizations prevent millions of deaths each year, vaccination numbers are dropping in certain areas of the United States. As a result, we spend nearly $27 billion dollars a year treating adults for vaccine-preventable diseases. This has a major impact on hospitals and insurance companies — and therefore on your bottom line.
Smith Caldwell Pharmacy Hours During COVID-19:
Sunday: 10 am – 7 pm
Monday – Saturday: 8 am – 7pm
For More Information
Smith Caldwell Pharmacy encourages you to keep your vaccinations up to date. Ask a pharmacist or talk to your physician about which vaccinations you need. You might be past due, or you may just need a booster to get back on track. Our pharmacists will be happy to discuss the vaccines we offer and which ones you need.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a time to get your flu vaccine, contact Smith Caldwell Pharmacy online or call us today at 501-404-2740!