Elimination of Measles in Americas Highlights Vaccination Effectiveness

By: | Oct-6-16

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced that measles has been eliminated in all of the Americas, the first region in the world to have eliminated the highly contagious disease, which primarily affects children.

The ongoing effectiveness of vaccination in combatting diseases illustrates the vital role pharmacy plays in improving patient health and outcomes with preventive, evidence-based approaches.

The WHO credited sustained vaccination campaigns for eliminating the preventable disease in the region.

Before mass vaccinations began in 1980, measles caused more than two million deaths a year worldwide. Vaccines have played a critical role in reducing the threat of the world’s most harmful infectious diseases. Worldwide, measles cases have dropped nearly 80 percent in the last two decades.

News of the elimination of measles in the Americas highlights the effectiveness—and importance—of vaccination and underscores the role pharmacy plays in providing accessible, affordable vaccinations in communities across the U.S.—and the world. A recent survey of 45 countries found that 97 percent of them have community pharmacy locations offering vaccinations, demonstrating the expansion of pharmacy immunizations globally. The WHO estimates that vaccination saves between two and three million lives a year across all age groups.

All 52 states in the U.S. now allow pharmacist-administered vaccinations and NACDS continues to advocate for expanded access to pharmacist-administered adolescent vaccinations, recently collaborating with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) on presenting a webinar on the importance of timely vaccination for all teens. In addition, NACDS recently presented its second annual national tour to expand pharmacy-based point-of-care testing, which also includes a vital “train-the-trainer” component.

NACDS also remains committed to helping to improve better coordination between public health departments and pharmacies to improve pandemic preparedness—and ensure vaccinating pharmacists are fully utilized during a pandemic. NACDS collaborated with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on preparing pandemic response resources: a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) template and an Instructional Letter to State Pharmacy Associations, State and Territorial Health Officials, and Pharmacy Providers.

The ongoing effectiveness of vaccination in combatting diseases illustrates the vital role pharmacy plays in improving patient health and outcomes with preventive, evidence-based approaches.

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2016-12-06T13:24:04+00:00Oct-06-16|Categories: Article|Tags: |