By: Casey McCullough, PharmD
Over the past few years, “vaccine” has become a buzz-word because of the recent pandemic. These small injections are some of the most powerful tools health care workers have to prevent disease. We have rolled out a new plan to ensure patients are protected and up-to-date with their vaccinations. The goal is to offer every patient at every encounter every recommended vaccine. That’s a tall order! Luckily, Oklahoma City Indian Clinic’s (OKCIC) Pharmacy has amazing pharmacists and technicians that are trained to safely give vaccines to help keep our patients – and community – healthy.
Vaccines give your immune system instructions to fight off infections using a small copy of a virus or bacteria as a blueprint. This process causes something called an immune response, which can make some people have symptoms like a slight fever. However, this means the vaccine is working and your body is creating specialized attack cells for the intruder. This gives you protection from future infections.
Not only do vaccines help protect you from disease, but they can help protect your family, friends and neighbors from getting sick as well. If you are protected from disease then you can stop the spread to others that may be unvaccinated. This can keep our communities safe, especially in crowded areas like the workplace or at school. Specifically, vaccine-preventable illness hits American Indian and Alaska Native communities harder than most.
You may be thinking, “I’ve already had my COVID-19 shots and boosters, so this doesn’t pertain to me.” But wait, there are many more preventable diseases you can be protected from. Along with COVID-19 shots, OKCIC carries vaccinations for influenza, hepatitis, pneumonia, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, rubella, human papillomavirus (HPV) and shingles. If you don’t know which vaccines you may be eligible for, simply call the pharmacy at (405) 595-3100 and schedule a telephone visit with a pharmacist to go over your vaccine status and eligibility.
Getting a vaccine at OKCIC’s Pharmacy is as easy as following these three simple steps:
- Schedule an appointment by calling (405) 595-3100
- Check-in at the pharmacy lobby at your scheduled appointment time and fill out a few forms while the pharmacy staff prepares your vaccine(s)
- Receive the vaccine and be on your way!