Get completely vaccinated at your local pharmacy

Posted on April 23, 2014


Did you know that most pharmacists undergo a vaccine-training course offered by the American Pharmacists Association(APhA) where they learn how vaccines are made, how to give them, and who should (not) not receive them? Did you also know that it could probably save you the long wait time at your doctors office if you got your vaccinations at your local pharmacy?

Today, about 77% of pharmacy practice sites are offering vaccinations on a walk-in basis without an appointment. Not only is this a faster, more convenient option, it is just as safe as receiving your vaccination at your doctors office. In fact today, more doctors are opting out of providing routine vaccine services because it is time-consuming and they often receive inadequate or negligible reimbursement from private insurance and Medicare.

All immunization certified pharmacists must be trained in CPR, so they know what to do if there is a bad reaction to the vaccine. In the rare case of an emergency, pharmacists always have a medication (such as an EpiPen) on hand to combat the adverse reaction until an ambulance arrives to take the patient to the hospital.

Even though Influenza remains the most commonly pharmacy administered vaccine (~88%), here is a complete list of vaccines you may also be able to get at your local pharmacy* (along with their CDC recommendation**)

  • Flu (Influenza) Seasonal
    • Everyone ages 6 months and older (including healthy people)
  • Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
    • All adults 50 years of age and older.
  • Pneumonia (Pneumococcal)
    • All adults ages 65+ who have not previously been vaccinated
    • All adults ages 19-64 who smoke or have asthma
    • Anyone between ages 2-64 who has a long-term health problem such as heart or lung disease, diabetes, sickle cell disease, alcoholism, cirrhosis etc. OR anyone whose body’s resistance to infection has been reduced via drugs or disease
  • Tdap (Whooping Cough)
    • Adolescents 11 -18 years of age 
  • Td (Tetanus booster, Diphtheria)
    • Booster for all adults aged 19 and older every 10 years.
  • Chicken Pox
    • All children under age 13 who have not had chickenpox.
    • All adolescents and adults who have not been vaccinated and have not had chickenpox. 
  • Hepatitis A (Hep A)
    • All children at age 1 year
    • Travelers to countries that have high rates of hepatitis A
    • Men who have sexual contact with other men
    • Users of injection and non-injection illegal drugs
    • People with chronic (lifelong) liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C or work with hepatitis A infected animals (or in a hepatitis A research laboratory)
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B)
    • Everyone 18 years of age and younger
    • People with multiple sex partners (or whose sex partner is infected with HBV)
    • Healthcare workers or household contacts who might be exposed to an infected person’s blood or bodily fluids
    • People who have HIV/AIDS and diabetes
    • Those traveling to countries where Hepatitis B (Hep B) is common
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella)
    • First dose of MMR vaccine at 12-15 months of age, and the second dose at 4-6 years of age. 
    • Adults born after 1957 who have not been vaccinated nor had the diseases, or don’t know if they’ve been vaccinated or had the diseases.
  • HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
    • Girls 11-12 years of age (preferably before their first sexual contact)
    • Girls and women 13-26 years of age who did not receive all 3 doses when they were younger
    • Males 11-26 years of age may get this vaccine to prevent genital warts.
  • Meningitis
    • All 11-12 years old children (with booster dose at age 16 years)
    • College freshman living in dormitories
    • Anyone who has a damaged or removed spleen
    • U.S. military recruits, and anyone travelling to, or living in, a part of the world where meningococcal disease is common, such as parts of Africa
  • Poliomyelitis
    • All infants and children.
    • Adults who have never been vaccinated against polio and are traveling to an area where polio is common.


*Contact your local pharmacy  (certain age restrictions may apply)

**Call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at 800-232-4636 or visit the CDC website, at, for more vaccine information.