LEESBURG, Va., Sept. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- RxAlly announced today its participation in Vote & Vax, a non-partisan, non-political national public health initiative intended to increase the number of Americans who receive a vaccination against the influenza virus. Through local vaccination clinics across the nation on Election Day, Vote & Vax and RxAlly are both committed to promoting improved public health by providing a community-based solution to a nationwide problem.
In support of Vote & Vax, participating RxAlly pharmacies, including independent pharmacies, regional chains and select Walgreens, will host vaccination clinics at local polling sites or in their stores to educate patients about the importance of annual flu vaccinations. This approach is especially important for Americans aged 50 and older who are at the greatest risk of having serious complications from the flu.
Each year, an estimated 36,000 people in the U.S. die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized as a result of the flu. Flu shots have been shown to decrease the rate of hospitalization, save people's lives and save their money. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all persons older than 6 months receive a flushot. Older adults are at higher risk for developing serious complications from the flu – and polling sites traditionally attract a large percentage of adults age 50 and older, making Election Day an ideal time to offer and promote flu shots.
"RxAlly's involvement in Vote & Vax enables local pharmacies to activate and protect their communities by providing additional access to care," said Bruce Roberts, CEO of RxAlly. "Local vaccination clinics help solve a serious problem with a community-rooted solution and promote a culture of improved national health."
A 2008 multi-state survey commissioned by the Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration (SPARC) reveals that almost half (47.7%) of those vaccinated at Vote & Vax sites had either not received a flu shot in the preceding year or would not have otherwise been vaccinated. The initiative is therefore expanding protection from influenza.
"The nationwide reach of Vote & Vax provides a great opportunity to implement a creative public health strategy that reaches those most vulnerable to influenza," said Douglas Shenson, MD, MPH, of SPARC, who is directing the national effort. "You don't have to vote to get vaccinated at these clinics, but for a lot of Americans, the convenience of both casting a ballot and protecting yourself from the flu is an attractive option."
Everyday, RxAlly pharmacists provide patient care services and are leaders in medication management for patients. Convenient immunization clinics illustrate the importance of pharmacists in their communities and by educating the public that pharmacists are ideally positioned to perform this service (as well as a host of others), pharmacists will become more effectively utilized.
RxAlly and Vote & Vax envisions that their innovative, effective strategy will become standard public health practice every Election Day, will reinforce local responsibility, and will make a vital contribution to the health of Americans nationwide.
For information about Vote & Vax: http://www.voteandvax.org/Home.aspx
For media inquiries, please contact: 5W Public Relations.
With more than 22,000 member pharmacies nationwide, RxAlly has brought together the largest national network of pharmacies to improve health and lower costs. The RxAlly Performance Network of community pharmacies aims to improve health through personalized pharmacist care, clinical research and evidence-based clinical practices, and an interoperable technology platform. By advancing the role of pharmacists, RxAlly is facilitating new solutions as it leads an innovative approach to health care that aligns the interests of patients, pharmacists and payers. For more information, please visit us at: www.RxAlly.com, http://www.rxally.com/ on Facebook or Twitter.
About Vote & Vax
The founders of Vote & Vax recognized the opportunity to safely and conveniently provide flu vaccinations on Election Day. Initially developed by Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration (SPARC) and funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Vote & Vax works with local public health providers and other partners such as RxAlly to assist them in launching vaccination clinics at or near polling places across the country. For more information about Vote & Vax, including information on clinic locations, please visit www.voteandvax.org.
Susan Weingram / 5W Public Relations
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