Rite Aid Fight the Flu Facebook Live

hi guys and welcome to Rite Aid’s very
first facebook live tonight we’re talking all things flu
I’m Chris Altman a doctor of pharmacy and certified immunizing pharmacist from
Rite Aid and I’m dr. Jennifer Caudill I’m a Rite Aid brand ambassador a
national health expert and also a family physician and I’m so excited to be
joining you Chris this is national influenza vaccination week so we have
lots to talk about with the flu you know flu season is
really starting to peak and this is all about protecting ourselves and our
families and our loved ones it’s really time to get the flu shot so I always say
unless you want to run the risk of getting the gift of the flu this holiday
season it’s important that we get our flu shots and encourage our families to
do that too holiday season is the time to travel see friends and family and
relax and have fun it’s not a time to get sick that’s why we really recommend
following the CDC and they say get that flu shot it’s the best way to protect
yourself yeah it really is probably the single best way to protect ourselves
right and the CDC recommends that with rare exception all healthy people 6
months of age and older really should get vaccinated and once again if I can’t
say this enough if you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet it’s really not too
late to get it and what’s great with Rite Aid is we make it as convenient as
possible for you we have thousands of locations across the US and get this
11,000 certified immunizing pharmacist which by the way I have to say is pretty
cool because you guys as pharmacists many of you are certified to give
immunizations and that’s kind of unique right it is it’s great and what’s even
better about is how convenient is for a patient to get that vaccine yeah you can
stop in to any of our locations no appointment necessary head back to the
pharmacy and we’ll take care of the rest show us your insurance card because
chances are it’ll be covered by your insurance and we’ll take care of all the
billing including Medicare Part B if you don’t know we’re closest Rite Aid is
you can visit Rite Aid and use the store locator and find that closest
store yeah it’s really great that it’s so convenient and I often think about
that as a family physician I love seeing my patients I love it when they come in
to see me and get shots and things like that
but the truth is you don’t have to just see me or schedule an appointment with
the doctor to get a flu shot you can go to the Rite Aid which is really what
we’re talking about it’s really the most important
is not putting off getting that vaccine that’s really what I don’t want people
to do so drop by your local Rite Aid you can probably drive by most of us
probably drive by a variety to us every day and I also say like when you’re
shopping for shampoo or you’re getting like your toiletries or you know paper
towels or whatever you could also head right to the pharmacy and get your flu
shot so it’s a win-win and it’s great because our pharmacists are all
professionally certified to give immunization so yeah and it goes beyond
flu we can do flu we can do pneumonia vaccines if it’s been time it might be
time for your tetanus booster so we can take care of all that for you right at
riding we can vaccinate children we can do seniors we can do adults I’ve done
them all so what’s great about right it is we truly try to give you that best
experience possible getting your immunization I think it’s awesome and by
the way for those of you who get your immunizations at Rite Aid which is
pretty awesome just make sure that you bring me your doctor the record saying
what you got so that I know very important so there’s a lot of
misconceptions a lot of myths and communication that has really confused
some of our patients out there and that leads to the excuses as far as why our
patients aren’t getting vaccinated right we’re gonna help break down all those
myths and miscommunications today on air and we really encourage you guys out
there to to leave a comment and question in the comment box yes that we can get
answered live right yes yeah write in the comments send us your questions we
want to hear yeah we want to have fun and make sure that you guys get the
information you’re looking for absolutely I think the best one to get
started with and this is probably any time we say something about a flu shot
we hear it all the time in the pharma scene it’s probably the elephant in the
room when we talk about flu shots right my patients will tell me I don’t want to
get my flu shot because it’s gonna make me sick or it’s gonna give me the flu
how do you talk to your patients about that well first of all if I have a
dollar for every time someone has told me that they didn’t want the flu shot
because they were afraid they were gonna get the flu I would be a very rich woman
and you might be a very rich man as well this is something I hear all the time
and I imagine you probably do too I understand my people are sometimes
concerned that they got sick from the shot I got sometimes gotten sick around
the time I got the flu shot but what’s important to keep in mind is it’s not
the shot that made us sick for the flu vaccines that are injections by needle
they’re made of either an inactivated or killed virus or doesn’t have a buyer
at all so it’s not possible for that vaccine to give us the flu so you say
well people say well then why did I get sick why did this happen
I think it’s important remember it takes two weeks for our body to build up
immunity to the flu virus once we get the vaccine so if you get the vaccine
and then you get exposed you could still get sick and plus there are plenty of
other viruses and bacteria running around in the environment that make us
feel like we have the flu right like the flu is not the only one you could get a
different one but it feels like you have the flu and I’d say finally is remember
our flu vaccines I know you know this as a pharmacy are made up of the three or
four most common flu strains in the season it doesn’t protect every single
possibility of a strain so it’s possible to get a different strain but the flu
shot did not give you the flu I promise oh that’s really good I thought
hopefully that answers that question yes like like dr. Jen said wait it’s
something we hear all the time all the time so another one we hear from our
patients we’ll be talking about getting the flu shot yeah they’ll say well I
don’t need to worry about it because it’s just the flu right it’s it’s
influenza everyone gets sick and they don’t really understand the severity of
the disease so when you’re talking your patients how do you describe exactly
what influenza is and what the severity of the severity of it is it you know
before I answer that I want to know from you like you’re on the pharmacy side
right so you see the people coming in probably when they’re picking up
prescriptions and stuff like that are you surprised it may be people feeling
that it’s more severe than they thought or I mean what are your impressions and
I’ll tell you mine yeah sure absolutely I think you know the one thing I always
surprises me is when we do talk to a patient who has been sick with the flu
no questions asked they say I want to get that flu shot because when they get
sick they know this is serious if something really affects me right then
the other side of it too is we see them coming in for treatment giving the over
counter stuff to manage those symptoms they’re like zombies walking back to the
pharmacy yeah it’s completely out of it talking about those body aches and pains
and it’s just it’s it’s really bad to see them like that right right no and
you’re right about that millions of people every year get the flu and I
think a lot of people don’t realize that but the other side of that is a hundreds
of thousands of people are actually hospitalized from flu complications
right and not only that but tens of thousands of people actually die from
flu related complications I know that’s hard to believe for some of us
especially if you’re healthy it may be hard to
believe but it happens so it can be very serious so another common myth we hear
and this is one that even among my friends yes my friends but I’m not in
the role of pharmacists I’m still a pharmacist when I go home so I talk to
my friends and young healthy adults will tell me I never get sick or I take good
care of myself so I don’t need the flu shot how do you really work through to
get them to understand that they still need to get vaccinated yeah well that is
something that people often say they say yeah they say I’m never sick why should
I get it and I say for that person out there that never gets sick that is
awesome that is really wonderful and that’s what we really want for everyone
but it’s still important for that person who doesn’t feel like they ever get sick
to still get the flu vaccine and the reason why is because if you were then
to get a flu virus the the vaccine can it can hopefully make those symptoms
less than what they would normally be and also it helps protect you by you
getting vaccinated helps you protect other people in the community so that’s
super important and ah we’ve got our first question I love it it looks like
joy has written us and joy says she had bad reaction to the flu shot a few years
back what’s the best advice for helping her stay flu free during the flu season
you want to take a stab at it sure so I’ll jump on this one here and I think
the big thing here from from my perspective I mean there’s some healthy
habits that we can try to practice to stay healthy but the one thing for joy
is to think about all those other close-contact she has friends families
relatives whoever she’s around with making sure that they’re protected so
being that really that proponent to say okay I can’t get it but you should get
protected so you don’t get me sick that’s right I think that’s really yeah
it’s a really good thing to help do we can advocate to those other people who
can get protected to get the vaccine right and something I would say to joy
you mentioned that you had a bit of a reaction and there are some people who
feel like they have either an allergic reaction or some sort of adverse
reaction that’s really important to know about and to really talk with your
doctor about because you want to be clear about what type of reaction that
you possibly can have because that can determine what future shots you may or
may not be able to get so that’s another point I just make a comment about so
let’s see here ah so people often say let’s talk about
this one this is like a misconception myth or so people
say that well I got my flu shot last year I don’t need to get it again doc or
pharmacists do I need to get it again what do you say so that’s a really good
question and there’s one that comes up in pharmacy a lot because we start
offering the vaccine when it’s released so in some cases we’re trying to
vaccinate those patients maybe in September maybe in August Thomas right
so they’ll be telling us well I got my flu shot in January the Schrader’s right
so I had in January 13 they’ll tell us the data they know exactly when it
happened but I think the one thing to keep in mind is that every year it’s a
new vaccine so every year we’re getting something out there to really protect
them again what’s going to be most likely circulating in the environment
right and even if it’s the same calendar year like if you got your vaccine the
last year’s one in January and this one you got in September it’s still a
different flu season and as you mentioned scientists really work hard to
predict which flu same strains are going to be circulating and it often changes
and I think another thing people don’t think about is that flu vaccination the
immunity often wanes over time as well so even if you got it in January for
example yes don’t got to get it in August September October again oh we
have another question this one’s coming in from Chase he says is it too late to
get the flu shot well chase them so glad you asked that I’m so glad you asked
that because I have a feeling that many of you watching are probably gonna be
able to guess what I’m about to say the big answer is no and that’s also the
good news now we know the flu season technically goes right from October to
May but from December to January February ‘s when flu activity tends to
be the highest this is we’re going into heightened season right now so Chris
it’s it’s it’s not too late for you to get the the flu vaccine go out and get
it very very important that’s really gonna I think you know at the pharmacy
we we talked about you know vaccinate until we don’t have it anymore so until
it’s gone we should keep giving if you haven’t gotten it that’s right that’s
right so we’ve talked a lot about you know that flu vaccine as being really
the number one way to protect our patients but there’s some other stuff we
can do and we kind of alluded to some of them but do you want to kind of walk
through what our patients can do to outside of the vaccine sure well I say
prevention prevention prevention I mean if I could say it all day long I would
because we were there sort of cold and flu season we’ve got to
make sure that we’re doing proper things to keep us protected as you mentioned so
washing hands very important and washing hands consistently making sure that
we’re using warm water and we’re using soap and we’re washing for 20 seconds I
often tell my patients just sing the song I’m happy birthday I’ll get you
through washing your hands make sure you’re washing all sides and getting
under the nails that goes a long way but also you know if we’ve got a sneeze or a
cough or things like that remember these respiratory particles really can travel
far and that’s what we think often spreads the virus of the flu virus as
well as others so if you’ve got a cough or sneeze cough or sneeze into your to
your elbow or into a tissue then make sure you throw that away
and of course washing your hands but you know make sure you disinfect surfaces
very important and if you’re sick stay home
please don’t go to work or go to school and just infect everybody you know
everybody else we don’t want you to do that so um looks like another question
came in yeah this is from Kimberly she says how long is the flu shot effective
for and can you get the shot too early mmm it’s very interesting yeah I’ll take
this well to stab at this one so I’m Kimberly really really great question so
you know how long the flu shot is effective for really depends on a number
of factors it depends on the actual vaccine but it also depends on patient
specific factors in terms of how well it works in their body your age or other
medical conditions etc so there’s a number of things that go into the mix
there but this is what the CDC recommends is that you get the vaccine
as soon as possible in the season and can you get the shot too early the
theoretical answer is you might get it at a point where it starts to wear out
but remember the benefits of getting the shot outweigh the risks of not getting
in and the CDC wants you to get it and we want you to get it as soon as
possible to make sure you’re protected that’s the best risk to take is to get
it as early as possible so that’s why I recommend I think is really good the one
thing to keep in mind is that when we talk about when the vaccine is actually
made available right the CDC controls that so right so they’re watching to say
when should we start releasing those lots and get them out to the public
right we talked a lot about protecting ourselves for the yeah but I don’t know
that we’ve talked too much about what is influenza and
what’s the common cold sir patients often come to the pharmacy they’ll have
all these symptoms and they’ll say I don’t know what I have right right
they’re kind of looking for that guidance how do you describe the
differences between the two yeah we know sometimes even as a physician I I tell
you that sometimes it can be hard for us to distinguish between a cold and a flu
because many of the symptoms actually overlap I think two main things that we
should always keep in mind is that and remember is that the common cold is
typically caused by rhinovirus it’s a virus but a different one than the flu
which is caused by the influenza virus so first off they’re two separate bugs
two separate viruses but some of the symptoms that tend to be similar are
things like you know coffee you might have a little bit of a stuffy nose runny
nose you might have a sore throat things like that but what tends to be different
is fever you may have a little low-grade fever with when it comes to a common
cold I think we have some things on a graphic here so make sure you check out
that graphic you might have a little low grade temperature with the cold but with
the flu that temperature is going to be higher most likely it may last longer
and the body aches I mean you have you ever had the flu I have units and I mean
I have patients and myself you feel like you’ve been hit by a bus because you get
body aches muscle aches and the fatigue can be absolutely exhausting those are
symptoms that you don’t have as extreme symptoms with the cold so so it’s just
it’s worse with the flu so let’s say one of your patients they come in the
pharmacy that comes to you at your office and they’re they’ve got those
telltale signs of flu and you’re looking at em you say this is flu I know it yeah
what do you advise your patients to do at that point as far as what they can do
to help manage it right so well I talked about some of the things we’ve already
talked about which is hand hygiene and prevention and making sure you’re
coughing and sneezing appropriately disinfecting and things like that but as
you probably know and I’m gonna put you on the spot in just a second but we do
have something called antiviral medications that are okay and good for
certain people so I mean you’re the pharmacist our neighborhood pharmacist
so you want to tell us a little bit about antivirals and how they work sure
so antivirals are there medications that your doctor can prescribe for you if you
have influenza what they do is they help decrease the severity those symptoms so
rather than being hit by a bus maybe it’s you’re hit by a scooter so it takes
the symptoms down a little bit plus it helps decrease the overall duration so
it’ll help really overall minimize the experience you have but there’s one real
important thing here and this is something that a lot of our patients
have a hard time with you’ve got to get that medication started quickly mm-hmm
yeah the recommendation is to start that within 48 hours yes when you first have
flu symptoms right so it’s real important you get in to see your doctor
as quickly as possible that’s right because if you come to us and we think
you have the flu but it’s been after 48 hours
these antivirals are really not recommended you know they’re not you
know what we would recommend so I think it’s a really good point and thank you
for explaining that we have another question I love the questions guys keep
them coming so a Julie thank you so much for writing
and you’ve you’re asking a great question Julie says at what age should i
vaccinate my baby great question I’m so glad that you
asked about baby 2 because a lot of people don’t know that babies should be
vaccinated but the key here kind of like what you were talking about with
antivirals is there is an age cutoff okay it’s children 6 months of age and
older so you if you have an infant 2 months three months anything less than
six months should not be vaccinated with the flu vaccine okay and there are a few
other exceptions when it comes to people who should not be vaccinated but for the
most part and with rare exception most people over the age of six months okay
that’s really gonna I think just to add on to that to think about for those
children that are under six months right parents adults grandpa’s caregivers make
sure everyone in the house that’s gonna be around that babies vaccinate because
until they reach that age stress hold they’re at risk of contracting and
that’s actually one of the reasons why we recommend that everyone get the flu
vaccine even if they don’t feel like they get sick is to help little babies
who can’t get vaccinated or people with weakened immune systems things like that
right yeah so when it comes to fighting the flu I mean I think you guys I mean
you know I think the world of you and your profession pharmacists are really a
valuable partner and and physicians feel like that you know you guys are really
on the front lines we’re on the front lines of health care and honestly as a
physician I’ve said this for years and I teach my medical students and residents
this we work together we really work as a team to help take care of patients and
it’s it’s really important part I think in patient care that we’re working
together so I think it’s excellent and wonderful that patients are able to come
to you all as a trusted healthcare resource to get flu vaccines to and it’s
convenient as well Thanks I know I speak for for not just myself but
speak for a lot of our pharmacists out there particularly I ride a pharmacist
you know we want to take care of the patients the same way you want to take
care of patients so we’re working together to make sure you guys stay
healthy at rite-aid it really is our mission to improve the health and
wellness of the communities we serve and for us at rite-aid we really take this
and it is something that was personal to us right ya know and I appreciate that
because it’s really personal to me too it’s why one of the reasons why I love
working with you all on this flu shot campaign so you know you all play a
really big role in the delivery of health care we do as well and I love the
fact that once again just to reiterate you don’t have to wait to see your
doctor to get a flu vaccine you’re shopping at Rite Aid or you’re driving
past the right eye just wheel right on in there you can pick up your shampoo
and your toiletries and get a flu shot as well it’s it’s really not too late so
that’s really important so I think you know if you’re still looking for that
closest Rite Aid you can visit Rite Aid comm to find it yes yes and I think we
have a special section on the website right is there a special section of the
website where people can go and and find out where so write a.com yep ready.com
store locator you can jump on there I want to thank dr. Caudill for joining me
tonight thank you this was a lot of fun and I
really want to thank you guys for joining us as well tonight thank you
guys so much and we’ve loved your questions keep the questions coming
they’re really really great questions so hopefully everyone learned a little bit
about the flu tonight and you’re able to take that information back and protect
your family and protect yourself for the season strains of the flu and remember
if you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet you can still go to your local Rite Aid
and get one right a.com you can get your flu shot so this was a lot of fun Chris
thanks and on behalf of Rite Aid and myself I wish you all a happy healthy
and flu free holiday season happy holidays

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