Make yourself at home in the immunization neighborhood

A few weeks ago, I got a note from APhA House of Delegates Speaker and member of the Board of Trustees Michael Hogue, PharmD, FAPhA, FNAP. Michael let us know that Jeff Goad, PharmD, MPH, had been elected to the board of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). This was an honor for Jeff, and GREAT news for pharmacy! Jeff is an APhA member who has presented at numerous APhA annual meetings and is a nationally recognized expert on immunizations. He will be the second pharmacist NFID board member after Michael, and a great representative of what our profession has to offer.

In case you’re not familiar with NFID, it’s an organization dedicated to educating the public and health professionals about the causes, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases across the lifespan, including immunization. It’s a cause near and dear to our hearts here at APhA, and it’s an area where pharmacists have made a really big impact.

An estimated one in four adults who received a seasonal influenza vaccination last year were vaccinated in a community pharmacy setting.

It’s vital that pharmacists have a seat at the public health table for any discussion on protecting communities from preventable disease. Pharmacists bring a unique and often unrepresented perspective to immunization initiatives like advocating for policy changes through legislation and regulation (pushing legislation, educating decision makers), creating educational materials and campaigns, and coordinating immunization clinics.

Jeff and Michael will effectively represent the pharmacist’s voice on this coalition of health professionals working on a common agenda to keep patients and communities safe and healthy. We’re grateful for their willingness to serve.

And I encourage all of you to find ways to follow their lead and actively participate in local, state, and national immunization coalitions and activities to make your impact in public health.