~ Vaccine Access Act improves access to critical vaccinations for adults in Florida ~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – There is good news for Floridians looking to receive vaccines in a convenient and cost-effective manner. Beginning July 1, Floridians will be able to get vaccinated against the pneumonia and shingles viruses at local participating pharmacies. During the 2012 legislative session, the Vaccine Access Act passed unanimously in Florida House of Representatives and 36-1 in the Senate, and was signed into law in April by Gov. Rick Scott.
“Vaccines are one of the most effective preventative measures against diseases, and the Vaccine Access Act makes getting vaccines easier than ever,” said Bill Mincy, BPharm, Vice President of Business Development of PPSC, and the national board chair of PCAN, a coalition working to preserve quality and affordable health care and pharmacy services for patients. “Patients will no longer have to wait at the doctor’s office in order to get vaccinated against pneumonia and shingles.”
The legislation is targeted towards adults, senior citizens specifically, with the hopes of preventing suffering and potential death from the diseases. The vaccinations are offered year-round at local pharmacies and no prior appointment is required. However, patients seeking to get vaccinated for shingles must have a prescription from their doctor and the cost to patients for vaccines depends on insurance coverage.
“The passage of the Vaccine Access Act will mean more Floridians will be vaccinated against pneumonia and shingles, just as more Floridians have received vaccines against influenza in the five years pharmacists have been allowed to provide them,” said Walter Dartland, executive director of the Consumer Federation of the Southeast.
The average Florida patient visits a pharmacy at least once a month. The Vaccine Access Act allows Floridians to incorporate getting vaccinated into their daily routine. Having easier access to vaccinations is not only good news for patients’ health, but for their pocketbooks as well.
Costs of a single hospitalization for complications from pneumonia can run into the thousands of dollars, but pneumonia can be prevented through vaccination for a cost of about $60, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Price List.