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Navarro Discount Pharmacy now offering seasonal flu shots at all 29 locations

BY Antoinette Alexander

MIAMI — Hispanic-owned pharmacy chain Navarro Discount Pharmacy, which is an MBF Healthcare portfolio company, has announced the availability of seasonal flu shots for individuals, families and employer groups.

“The seasonal flu vaccine, which protects against the changed H3N2 seasonal flu, is now available at each of our locations — no appointment needed,” stated Albert Garcia, EVP of pharmacy at Navarro. “Our certified pharmacists have undergone extensive training and are extremely knowledgeable about viruses common today, their symptoms and the flu vaccine.”

The 2011-2012 seasonal flu vaccine protects against three different flu viruses: the H3N2 virus, the influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus. With more than 80 trained clinical staff comprised of Florida registered pharmacists, Navarro has been certified for immunization through the Florida Board of Pharmacy.

Effective immediately, flu shots are available at all Navarro store locations during pharmacy hours of operation, on a walk-in basis or by appointment for $25 per shot. (Competitors’ prices will be matched.) Flu shot recipients receive $100 in coupon savings, as well as Navarro’s ‘Flu Guarantee,’ which reimburses up to the out-of-pocket expense for the cost of the flu shot, with a Navarro pharmacy credit toward the purchase of the antiviral prescription medication (Tamiflu or Relenza — precription required).

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CDC: HPV vax rates still low among U.S. teens

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — Increases in vaccination rates for the human papillomavirus are trailing increases in rates for two other vaccines recommended for teens and preteens, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday.

Coverage rates for the other two vaccines — Tdap, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis; and MenACWY, which protects against meningococcal meningitis — are continuing to increase, but vaccination rates for HPV vaccine remain low, the study found.

“More U.S. teens are being protected against these serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases,” stated Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “However, the HPV results are very concerning. Our progress is stagnating, and if we don’t make major changes, far too many girls in this generation will remain vulnerable to cervical cancer later in life.”



About 6 million people become infected with HPV each year, and the CDC reported that every year, about 12,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. The CDC recommends HPV vaccine for girls ages 11 to 12 years to protect against the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer, and also recommends teenage girls who have not yet been vaccinated with HPV vaccine complete the vaccination series. HPV vaccines are given in three doses (as shots) over six months. To ensure the highest level of protection, girls must complete all three shots.

According to the CDC "NIS-Teen" survey, coverage for the three routine teen vaccines was 49% for one dose of HPV vaccine, 63% for MenACWY and 69% for Tdap vaccine. Hispanics had higher coverage for one dose of MenACWY and HPV, but third-dose HPV coverage lagged for blacks and Hispanics compared with whites.  Girls living in poverty also were less likely to complete the entire HPV series.

Continued improvements in MenACWY and Tdap remain important, the CDC stated. “This one-time dose of Tdap can prevent pertussis infection,” Schuchat said. “Also, preteens and teens who get vaccinated with MenACWY are protecting themselves from an infection that can lead to lifelong disability — or, in some cases, death in 48 hours or less.”

Families who may need help paying for vaccines should ask their healthcare providers about the Vaccines for Children program, which provides vaccines at no cost to uninsured children younger than 19 years, the CDC noted. For help in finding a local healthcare provider who participates in the program, parents can call 800-CDC-INFO or go to www.cdc.gov/vaccines.

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Obesity rate in the United States to rise by more than 65%

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Half of U.S. adults will be obese by 2030, according to a new study published in The Lancet.

The research, part of a four-part series published in the journal this week, projected that the number of obese adults in the country would jump from 99 million in 2008 to 164 million by 2030, a 65.6% increase. What’s more, the U.S. obesity rate will rise from 32% to about 50% for men, and from 35% to a range between 45% and 52% for women.

Meanwhile, the researchers also said that the rate of obesity in the United Kingdom also will see a dramatic rise, increasing from 15 million to 26 million.

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