8 - What is an INR and how often should I have it done?
INR is a test used to monitor the effects of the blood thinning drug called Coumadin or warfarin. The therapeutic dose for this medicine varies greatly from person to person and is adjusted to achieve an INR between 2 and 3. The patient usually tests a minimum of once monthly to adequately monitor therapy.
9 - If I’m over 50 why should I get the Shingles Vaccine?
If you had the Chicken Pox as a child then the virus that causes Shingles is already inside your body. Our immune system helps keep this virus contained so we don’t see any symptoms of this disease. As we age, our immune system can weaken until the virus is able to reappear and cause Shingles. If you receive the vaccine between the ages of 50 and 59 it can reduce your risk of Shingles by 70%. If you receive the vaccine between the ages of 60 and 69 it can reduce your risk 50%. If you receive the vaccine between the ages of 70 and 79 it can reduce your risk by 40%. If you are greater than 80 years old it only reduces your risk by 18%. However, symptoms appear to be lessened by some who still contract Shingles after the vaccine, so there can be benefits even if it does not prevent the disease entirely. If you would like an assessment of your need for this vaccine, please stop by and ask one of our knowledgeable pharmacists
10 - I thought there wasn’t a vaccine for Hepatitis C. Is it dangerous?
That is correct. There is not a vaccine for Hepatitis C. It is usually spread by contact with blood from an infected person. Many become infected from blood or blood products prior to 1992 when universal precautions were adopted. Other ways this may have occurred is from IV drug use, needle stick, or tattoos. Those born between 1945 and 1965 are 5 times more likely to have this disease and the CDC recommends everyone in this group to be screened for Hepatitis C. This disease often has no symptoms and can go untreated for decades without ever feeling sick. Over time it can cause severe damage to the liver if left untreated. However, this disease can be treated successfully with new and innovative medicine. As the Clinical Director of the Cheek and Scott Specialty Pharmacy I deal with Hepatitis C on a daily basis and work closely with several great liver specialists to help patients get the treatment they need. Also, there are vaccines available for Hepatitis A and B, and can be prevented. If you have any questions about this or need to find a specialist to treat you for Hepatitis C, please come by the store and ask for Joey.
11 - I’m afraid of needles and I’ve never gotten the flu before... Is it really that important to get my flu shot each year?
It is important to protect yourself from the Flu, but it is very important for special groups because they are susceptible to severe complications from the flu. These people include those who are: 65 years and older, 5 years old and younger, immunocompromised, pregnant, residents of long term care facilities, morbidly obese, and living with a chronic health condition. Those who are exposed to and care for these groups should also get vaccinated to prevent transmission. Although these groups are most likely to experience severe complications from the Flu, this is possible for anyone. For this reason, the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older should get a seasonal flu shot.
12 - I’m planning to travel outside the country soon. How do I make sure I’ve got the proper immunizations before I leave?
Here at Cheek and Scott we now have a travel immunization consultation clinic. We are able to send you information about your trip, administer all of your vaccines, and give an in depth consultation with you to clarify any information about the trip. Simply go to www.cheekandscott.com/travelvaccine, fill out the online form, and we will contact you promptly to coordinate your shots and consultation.
13 - Many of my friends and family seem to have a fear of vaccines. I want to be protected from unnecessary illnesses, but how can I determine if the risks outweigh the benefit of a vaccine?
I have been administering vaccines for over 7 years now and have a lot of knowledge about these vaccines. If you would like to come in for a short consultation, we can go over the risks for the disease, the vaccine itself, and even provide a list of the ingredients contained in each vaccine to put your mind at ease. I would never try to force anyone to do something with their own health that they are not comfortable with. I will present you the information so you can make an informed decision about your own health and that is all.
14 - Why are there 2 pneumonia vaccines?
The two pneumonia vaccines are Pneumovax and Prevnar. They both protect you from pneumococcal bacteria, which can cause many types of infections such as: pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, and ear infections. Prevnar protects you from 13 types of this bacteria and Pneumovax protects you from another 23 types. The reason for both shots is to give you a more complete protection from this bacteria and the infections it can cause.
15 - Who needs to get the pneumonia vaccines?
The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 65 should receive both Prevnar and Pneumovax one time and these vaccines should be separated by one calendar year. There are some health conditions that would require you to get these vaccines prior to turning 65. For Pneumovax, if you have diabetes, liver disease, asthma or lung disease, a smoking habit, asplenia, or an immunocompromising condition it is recommended that you receive this vaccine if you are 19 years of age or older. Also, for some of these conditions you may be required to revaccinate every 5 years. For Prevnar, patients who have asplenia or an immunocompromising condition it is recommended that you receive this vaccine if you are 19 years of age or older. If you would like us to assess your need for these vaccines, please stop by the pharmacy.
16 - I understand the immunization for Yellow Fever is difficult to find. Can you do this at Cheek and Scott?
Yes. This vaccine is difficult to find and is usually in short supply. Facilities that offer the Yellow Fever vaccine are required to go through additional training and certification with the State of Florida Department of Health. Here at Cheek and Scott, we are certified with the state and recognized nationally as a Yellow Fever vaccine provider at the CDC. We can administer the vaccine for your trip abroad and issue you the necessary travel document required for entry and exit from certain countries. If you would like to receive information or schedule an appointment to discuss your upcoming trip please go to www.cheekandscott.com/travelvaccine, fill out the form, and click submit. We will promptly contact you to discuss your travel needs.