NC legislature trying to make vaccinations more convenient

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Keeping you and your family healthy may soon be a bit easier.

For years, pharmacists have been able to give out flu shots. That list of immunizations could soon increase.

For Raymond James, Person Street Pharmacy in Raleigh is a comfort. It’s a place where he knows everyone and everyone knows him.

That sort of familiarity and trust is just one of the reasons he’s glad to hear his local pharmacists may soon be able to give even more vaccinations than they do now.

“Personally, I think it’s a great idea,” James said. 

“We really do have a bond with our patients, so they really do trust us,” said pharmacist Maresa Roney. “You know we take the time with our patients, so I think that goes a long way with trust and immunization.”

The state legislature is on the verge of passing a new law that ups the anty. Among several changes is the age of the person a pharmacist can give the flu vaccine to. It would decrease the age from 14 years old to 10.

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They would also be able to give the vaccine to children who are 6 years old if there’s a doctor’s prescription. The proposal also adds the HPV and Hepatitis A vaccine to a list that already includes pneumococcal and Hepatitis B. 

“They come to us with questions. You know, they always see things on the news about risk-benefit with vaccines, and we can definitely give them pertinent information to make the decision whether they want to get them or not,” Roney said. 

Roney and customers think that if patients don’t have to wait for an appointment at the doctor’s office, they might be more willing to get what could be a life-saving vaccine. Convenience could be the key.

“I would actually to come to my local pharmacy. A lot of relationships are built long term between families and local pharmacists, so instead of waiting for an appointment, I’d love to be serviced right in my local community.” said customer Mallory Richardson.

Roney added: “They want to keep themselves healthy, but they don’t want to spend hours and days waiting for a vaccine. And, just the ease of the pharmacy is the number one go to.”

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