December 2-8 marks this year’s National Influenza Vaccination Week (or NIVW), a national awareness week focused on highlighting the importance of influenza vaccination. NIVW serves as a reminder that even though the holiday season has arrived, it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC)’s 2018-2019 Summary of Recommendations provides the latest information from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone six months and older with any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine with no preference expressed for any one vaccine over another.

On a related note, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association shows that pharmacy-based immunization services have increased influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations by millions since immunizations became more accessible in pharmacies. It was only in 2009 that all 50 states allowed pharmacists to give flu shots. As of 2015, each state allows pharmacists to give at least three vaccines.

NACDS continues to advocate for allowing pharmacists to administer all vaccinations recommended by the CDC. In 2018, six states expanded pharmacist immunization authority: Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, New York and West Virginia.