VANCOUVER, March 19, 2012 /CNW/ - Community pharmacists are helping to tackle an outbreak of pertussis, having already administered vaccines to over 6,000 patients in the Fraser Health Authority.
The outbreak of pertussis, or whooping cough, began in Hope this past December and quickly spread through the Fraser Valley. Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection in the lining of the respiratory tract. It can be particularly dangerous to infants and young children.
In response to this outbreak, community pharmacists in the region stepped up to administer pertussis vaccines, taking pressure off local health units and physicians.
"We've been hearing from our members that one pharmacy chain in the Fraser Valley has administered more than 500 injections in only two days, while another pharmacy chain has already administered more than 700 whooping cough vaccines," said Geraldine Vance, CEO of the BC Pharmacy Association.
"Whooping cough vaccinations are yet another way in which pharmacists are demonstrating their value as key members of the primary health care team."
Those who would like to receive a whooping cough vaccine are encouraged to speak to their local pharmacist. Community pharmacists are also able to provide other publicly-funded vaccinations such as influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. This flu season alone, pharmacists in BC have administered more than 100,000 flu shots.
Notes to Editors:
For a list of participating pharmacies in the Fraser Health region, visit http://www.fraserhealth.ca/whoopingcough.
The British Columbia Pharmacy Association (BCPhA) is a not-for-profit, voluntary, professional association of pharmacists and pharmacies. It represents more than 2,600 pharmacists and 800 pharmacies throughout British Columbia.
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