The Executive Director of the Association of Community Pharmacies (AFCPR), Linda Ayala, announced the start of an orientation campaign on the importance of getting vaccinated against influenza this season and highlighted the value for community pharmacies of increasing the immunization levels in the country.
“This season it is more important than ever for people to get vaccinated against influenza, which is a contagious respiratory illness. In the face of the Covid-19 epidemic, immunization becomes more relevant due to the complications that it can cause if they contract influenza and Covid. Everyone should get vaccinated, particularly older adults and people with respiratory problems or compromised immune systems. We recommend that you make an appointment to minimize the wait. It is important that they get immunized on time, “said Ayala.
In Puerto Rico, some 70 community pharmacies are certified to administer vaccines to people over seven years of age. In addition to influenza, they can vaccinate against pneumococcus, tetanus, shingles, hepatitis, chickenpox, human papillomavirus, and measles, among other diseases.
“The virus mutates every year, so you have to be vaccinated annually because this virus can attack in a mild or severe way; it can even cause death. Getting vaccinated lessens the effect of the condition. Vaccinations are covered by most health plans. The vaccination process is fast, but rigorous, since the pharmacist also guides the patient, ”said Ayala.
In the 2019-2020 season, the Department of Health reported a total of 20,230 cases and 1,029 hospitalizations, with the Caguas region being the one with the highest contagion in the entire country. So far this season, which began in June, 89 cases and 12 hospitalizations have already been reported.
Some of the symptoms associated with the flu are fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle and body aches or headaches, and tiredness.
In Puerto Rico there are about 850 community pharmacies. For a complete list of pharmacies participating in this mass immunization, you can visit the Community Pharmacies Association page on Facebook, at AFCPR.net or call (787) 758-6101.