Everything you need to know about vaccinations through your Sam’s Club Pharmacist

Your local pharmacist plays a significant role in helping to educate about vaccines and how they are administered.

Pharmacists monitor the annual immunization recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and can make recommendations for appropriate vaccines based on age and existing risk factors. Most vaccinations do not require a prescription from a physician and do not require an appointment.

After the patient has decided to get vaccinated, the Pharmacist will have the patient complete a Patient Questionnaire Form so the patient can choose the most appropriate vaccination. This is a screening tool, primarily used to identify contraindications or precautions before administering any immunization. Always be sure to answer each question as thoroughly as possible and discuss any questions with the pharmacist before the vaccine is administered. It is important for the pharmacist to be aware of all your health conditions and the medications you are taking in order help you to choose the appropriate vaccines.

Flu vaccines change each year and are covered by most insurances. They are an inactivated vaccine, which means they cannot cause flu. It does take two weeks for immunity to develop, so if you get sick right after getting your flu shot, it is most likely due to exposure to the virus prior to receiving the flu vaccine.

Quadrivalent flu vaccines, which protect against four strains of the influenza virus, are recommended for the general population. It is important to receive a flu vaccine each year as the composition of the vaccine changes. The CDC recommends receiving the vaccine earlier rather than later for the best protection.

There are flu vaccines specifically for patients who are 65 or older. Since immune response to flu vaccine weakens with age, these vaccines give a stronger immunity boost and better protection. Adverse effects are similar to standard flu vaccines.

An additional concern for adults over the age of 65 is pneumonia; these patients should receive two pneumonia vaccines. Both vaccines are covered by Medicare Part B as well as commercial insurance. If you are unsure if you have received both doses of pneumonia vaccine, let your pharmacist know.

As the vaccine is administered, it is important to take a deep breath and relax your arm to help reduce any adverse reactions. It is normal to experience some redness or soreness after any vaccination. If you experience any severe adverse effects after a vaccine has been administered, call your pharmacy and notify the pharmacist as soon as possible.