Nonphysician Clinicians Vaccinations

Adults need vaccines too

Most people believe that vaccines are for kids. The CDC and public health departments have done a good job of keeping vaccination rates high for children. With the advent of new vaccines for adults, the key now is to increase vaccination rates for these older groups.

The Wall Street Journal (“Get your shots“) details a few of the vaccines that adults should receive.

Vaccine Cost Age and dosage
Tetanus/diphtheria/whooping cough $65 19-64 years old, one dose.
Tetanus booster $45 All adults over 19, every 10 years.
Measles/Mumps/rubella $50-$65 19 to 49, one or two doses if not previously vaccinated or infected.
Shingles $220 Over 60, one dose.
Pneumonia $45 19-64, one or two doses when risk of disease is present. One dose after age 65
Influenza $20-$30 19-49, one dose/yr for high risk group. Over 50, one dose/yr

Not included in the list is the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer.

Another point of interest is that it is increasingly difficult for physicians to supply vaccines to patients. With so many vaccines, the logistics of ordering all these perishable vaccines is very difficult. Further, as vaccines costs have increased, physicians will have to invest more and more capital into vaccine inventory.

For this reason, alternative providers such as pharmacies may a solution. With a vast experience in storage of drugs and supply chain management, pharmacies can easily absorbed the increased adult vaccine demand.

In the Wall Street Journal article, we have the following story:

The doctor didn’t have the shingles vaccine in stock, and recommended they try a walk-in clinic at a nearby drugstore, where the nurse practitioner provided a two-page handout on the vaccine and answered some of their questions. Though the price was about $219 each, all but $40 was covered by their drug benefit plan.

The next time you get a shot, it may be at your local CVS or Walgreens and not at the doctor’s office.