• Blog Post

Commitment to community wellness: Immunization clinics and health advocacy

Dec 6th, 2023

In Jackson Miss., a dedicated Genoa Healthcare pharmacy team led by site manager Stephanie Lidell, Pharm D, along with Stephanie Tucker and Justin Barnes, Business Development Representatives at Genoa, organized an immunization clinic at a local homeless shelter in their community.

Genoa pharmacies protect their communities by providing free flu shots to everyone, regardless of insurance coverage, and by hosting free flu shot clinics in underserved communities. At this particular clinic, the Genoa team and Pastor Detrick Johnson from The Bridge, went a step further and served food to everyone who came through the shelter. “As a pharmacist, it is important to care for the community and encourage immunizations,” said Stephanie Lidell. “It was a great opportunity to help protect the people we serve.”

This year, the U.S. is experiencing elevated activity across influenza, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Getting immunized for these illnesses can help stop the spread and keep you and those around you safe.

Influenza

Infections continue to rise in most of the country as the flu season progresses, particularly in the southern states. While we are already seeing an increase in positivity rates, the flu season typically does not peak until between December and February.1 The CDC recommends that everyone six months and older get their annual flu vaccine to protect yourself and others. The flu vaccine has important benefits that include not only helping stop the spread of the virus but also reducing the severity of the illness.

COVID-19

COVID-19 positivity rates have elevated throughout 2023, and the CDC does not expect the positivity rates to drop soon.2 SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is always changing and creating new variants, requiring new and multiple boosters to help stop the spread.3 Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccination helps protect against hospitalization, critical illness, and death in all age groups. The CDC recommends everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines designated for their age group.4

RSV

This year, the CDC is seeing elevated activity in RSV and positivity rates for RSV have even surpassed COVID-19.5 RSV is a respiratory virus that is commonly accompanied by mild, cold-like symptoms. However, RSV can be serious for vulnerable populations, particularly those who are aged 60 years and older, and infants. Within the population of those who are aged 60 years or older, those who have chronic medical conditions are at further risk of developing serious illnesses from RSV.

There are two RSV vaccines licensed for use in adults aged 60 years and older in the United States: RSVPreF3 (Arexvy, GSK) and RSVpreF (Abrysvo, Pfizer).6 RSVpreF (Abrysvo, Pfizer) is also licensed for pregnant women at weeks 32 to 36 of gestation. This vaccine ensures that the baby will have protection and, in most cases, should not need an RSV immunization later. The CDC has recommended those at risk seek the immunization to help prevent getting sick with RSV.7


Looking for support protecting your community this cold and flu season? Genoa Healthcare can help. Click here to get in touch.


1: Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report | CDC
2: Weekly Viral Respiratory Illness Snapshot (cdc.gov)
3: CDC COVID Data Tracker: Summary of Variant Surveillance
4: CDC COVID Data Tracker: Vaccine Effectiveness
5: Protect yourself from COVID-19, Flu, and RSV (cdc.gov)
6: Healthcare Providers: RSV Vaccination for Adults 60 Years of Age and Over | CDC
7: Preventing RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) | CDC


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