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Flu Shots May Lower Odds For Premature Delivery

June 01, 2011 By: Nadia Category: HealthCare, Medicine Advice, Medtipster, Prescription News

www.Medtipster.com Source: HealthDay News -By Jennifer Goodwin, 5.31.2011

Getting a flu shot during pregnancy appears to offer some protection from premature births and low birth weight babies, a new study finds.

U.S. researchers looked at data on nearly 4,200 births between June 2004 and September 2006 in the state of Georgia. About 15 percent of the women received a flu shot during pregnancy.

Pregnant women who received the vaccine and who gave birth during the assumed flu season (from October through May) were 40 percent less likely to have a baby born prematurely, that is, before 37 weeks’ gestation, the study found.

“The effect is significant during the flu period, and it goes up along with the intensity of flu circulation,” said lead study author Saad B. Omer, an assistant professor of global health, epidemiology and pediatrics at Emory University Schools of Public Health & Medicine.

Women who gave birth when there were some, but not widespread, reports of flu were 56 percent less likely to have a premature baby than unvaccinated women. During peak flu season, generally January and February, pregnant women who got the flu shot were 72 percent less likely to deliver prematurely.

The study, published May 31 in PLoS Medicine, also found a slight association between flu vaccine and protection from “small for gestational age” babies (a birth weight, head circumference or length in the bottom 9 percent) during peak flu season, but not at other times.

Babies born during peak flu season to mothers who were vaccinated against flu were 69 percent less likely to be small for their gestational age, the researchers found.

Outside flu season, researchers said the study found no association between premature births and flu vaccination. This was expected and lends support to their hypothesis that the effect they’re seeing is actually due to the flu vaccine and not some other factor.

However, they emphasized that their findings merely show an “association” between the vaccine and reduced risk of prematurity, not a direct cause and effect.

Infections during pregnancy can affect fetal growth and development, according to background information in the article. Respiratory infections, particularly pneumonia, are associated with low birth weight and increased risk of pre-term birth.

Influenza is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, who have a greater risk of serious illness and death. “There is a lot of evidence that flu is much more severe in pregnant women than in women of a similar age who are not pregnant,” Saad said.

Toward the end of pregnancy, women’s lung capacity decreases, and the heart must work harder to pump blood to support the fetus, which taxes the body. Pregnancy may also make it more difficult for the immune system to mount a response to the flu.

Prior research conducted in women in Bangladesh found that getting the flu vaccine during pregnancy can even help protect the infant from flu after birth.

Taken together, the evidence is clear that women who are pregnant during flu season should get the flu vaccine, said Dr. Siobhan Dolan, a consultant to the March of Dimes and an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

“This study adds to the body of evidence of how beneficial the flu vaccine is, both in decreasing the risk of pre-term birth and slightly decreasing the risk of low birth weight,” Dolan said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians and the March of Dimes all recommend women get vaccinated against the flu during pregnancy.

Despite that recommendation, only about 15 percent of pregnant women get the seasonal flu vaccine annually, experts said, although that rose to nearly 50 percent during the 2009-2010 H1N1 crisis.

“It’s good for you, and it’s good for your baby,” Dolan added. “It’s the right thing to do, and the data is clear.”

Pharmacists are Among the Most Trusted Professionals

February 04, 2010 By: Tylar Masters Category: Medicine Advice

Pharmacies work hard to bring you in as a customer, not just once, but for life. They want to be your trusted source for questions and concerns, as well as fill your doctor’s written prescription.

Think about the last time you took a 10-minute drive somewhere. How many CVS, Rite Aid or Walgreens did you pass? The fact is there’s a pharmacy on nearly every other corner! The pharmacy industry is crucial to healthcare.

Within every pharmacy, there is a trusted professional called a pharmacist. Otherwise the pharmacy wouldn’t be able to operate. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) states that on average there is a pharmacy within two and a half miles of every resident in the U.S. Many have drive-thru and 24-hour access, meaning whenever you’re in need of a medication, your pharmacist is there for you.

Pharmacists dispense pills, sure, but that’s not all they do. They consult with you regarding your specific prescription, other medications you are taking, side effects, possible alternatives, and answer any questions you have about your health. Many times I’ve walked into my pharmacy looking for an over-the-counter drug for a cold or flu like symptoms, and the pharmacist on duty helps me find the best option for my symptoms.

This shows me a high level of kindness and concern, which healthcare professionals should absolutely carry at all times. I believe in most cases, people find that pharmacy professionals are always willing to answer questions and spend time getting to know their patients. Often this is why pharmacies entice customers to stay with them for refills and ongoing prescriptions, the pharmacist wants to get to know you, and help you determine the right medications for you.

Sources: National Association of Chain Drug Stores

GlaxoSmithKline Requests A Temporary Halt On New Flu Vaccinations in Canada

November 23, 2009 By: Nadia Category: Medtipster, Prescription News

Nádia - your personal pharmacy cost adviser

Nádia - your personal pharmacy cost adviser

GlaxoSmithKline is suspending the use of 170,000 doses of its new H1N1 influenza vaccine in Canada. This is due to a higher-than-usual rate of reported side effects potentially linked to the vaccine.

Potential side effects were rooted from allergic reactions suffered by six people that experienced breathing difficulties and reduced blood pressure in the Canadian province of Manitoba. Side effects are very common for any medication, with a typical ratio of 1.5 : 170,000. It has been reported that all six recovered after a short time.

Flu Shots in the United States are unaffected and are still highly recommended by the AMA and CDC.

Find a flu shot closest to your home at medtipster.com.

Swine Flu for Dummies

November 13, 2009 By: Tylar Masters Category: H1N1 News, Medtipster

fordummies

Swine Flu for Dummies

With the H1N1 vaccine supply growing, many are still unsure whether or not to be vaccinated.

I have read article after article about pros and cons of receiving the H1N1 Vaccine. Some are waiting in line, scurrying around town, calling and checking daily for the status of the local availability, and some simply don’t want it at all. Regardless of your opinion of action, it’s important to know the facts!

Let’s say, every year for Thanksgiving, my Aunt Judy makes sugar cookies. Every year she adds a yummy topping in the form of the most popular candy that year, like a reese’s peanut butter cup, or mini-snickers. But, this year, there are two candies that are the most popular, M&M’s and gumdrops. So, she made two batches of sugar cookies, one with M&M’s and the other with gumdrops!

That’s a simple analogy to understand what the H1N1 strain is really all about. You see, every year, the vaccine is administered according to what the experts are predicting will infect the population. That particular “strain” is similar to the sugar cookie’s topping, it changes from year to year. This year, however, there are two types of strains predicted to spread, the seasonal flu (we’ll call that the gumdrop sugar cookie) and the H1N1 flu (the M&M sugar cookie).

Medtipster.com is dedicated to bringing you the latest on the availability of both the seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccinations, as well as key information for you and your family. We are working hard to make sure our database is second to NONE (we mean that!). We know there are other internet sources of H1N1 vaccine locators, and we are thrilled to know that these sources are working just as hard as we are to keep the public informed. However, upon comparison, our database is up to date, accurate, and contains address, phone number, map location, pricing and even notes from the administering clinic.

Now, if all I’ve done here is strengthen your sweet tooth, there are great resources that will explain the details of the H1N1 virus, how to protect yourself from becoming infected, the symptoms of the illness, etc. I’ve listed some great resources below.

H1N1 Response Center by Microsoft: https://h1n1.cloudapp.net/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/

The Lancet: http://www.thelancet.com/H1N1-flu

WWJ Newsradio 950 – Michigan: http://www.wwj.com/pages/5367286.php

PS- Happy Friday the 13th!

Tylar Masters
Manager of Marketing and Communications
Medtipster, LLC.
email: tmasters@medtipster.com
web address: www.medtipster.com

H1N1 Vaccine Now Available at 123 Locations in Ten States

November 05, 2009 By: Tylar Masters Category: H1N1 News, Medtipster

While many wait for the latest information from their local news source, Medtipster.com announces the following have the H1N1 vaccine available:

pathmark

Six Pathmark Supermarkets in NJ offer H1N1 vaccine

A & P Supermarket – 7 stores in New Jersey
Butlers Pharmacy – 1 store in New Jersey
Harmon’s Grocery Store – 9 stores in Utah
CVS’s Minute Clinics – 9 clinics in Florida, Virginia, Michigan, & Missouri
Pathmark Supermarket – 6 stores in New Jersey
Smith’s Food and Drug – 22 stores in Utah
Walmart’s Solantic Clinic – 3 clinics in Florida
Super Fresh Markets – 1 store in New Jersey
Walgreen’s Take Care Clinics – 42 stores in Tennessee, Florida, Nevada, Missouri, Washington & Ohio
Walgreen’s – 18 stores in Utah
Safeway – 2 stores in Washington
Medicap Pharmacy – 1 store in Washington
La Conner Drug – 1 store in Washington
Fred Meyer – 1 store in Washington

The stores with the vaccine available are currently in our database. If you live in one of the above mentioned areas, please visit http://medtipster.com/services.php?type=shots and select H1N1 from the drop down menu and enter you zip code for a list of the locations nearest you.

Continue to visit www.medtipster.com for updates as we receive information on more stores with the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines. Bookmark our home page, add us to your favorites, join our facebook fan page, follow us on twitter! Stay up to date with the latest news on healthcare with Medtipster.com!

Tylar Masters
Manager of Marketing and Communications
Medtipster, LLC.
email: tmasters@medtipster.com
web address: www.medtipster.com

We Apologize for the Inconvenience

November 03, 2009 By: Tylar Masters Category: H1N1 News, Medtipster

flushotscancelled Pharmacies cancel seasonal flu shots due to the demand for H1N1 vaccine.

When I saw this picture, I immediately thought, “wow, how frustrating for the people who showed up to get a flu shot only to read this sign in disappointment.” Then I sat down to begin blogging about it, and had nothing but writer’s block, or so I thought.

Nope, I don’t have writer’s block. This picture is worth a thousand words!

I have a continuous search running on my twitter tweetdeck for H1N1 and every minute of every day, at least one new tweet mentions H1N1. Everyone is seriously concerned about swine flu! What is most important is preventing it and treating it by knowing when and where the vaccine is available, and where to go for treatment if you have symptoms.

And I just want to shout it from the rooftops! Medtipster.com has this information available! It’s there, I promise! You won’t have to drive around looking and hoping to find the flu shot somewhere. We know what pharmacies have the seasonal flu shot AND the H1N1 vaccine. We know supplies are limited, we know the country is in a panic, we know the frustration people are feeling. Medtipster.com was designed to help!

Medtipster.com is the trusted source for the latest information this flu season! Share this with your friends, your family, your co-workers, your dog walker, even your enemies, whom perhaps would be happy to give you their swine flu!

Avoid the inconvenience, the apologies, and most of all, the headache. Stay informed with www.medtipster.com.

Tylar Masters
Manager of Marketing and Communications
Medtipster, LLC.
email: tmasters@medtipster.com
web address: www.medtipster.com

Five Million, Six Hundred Fifty Six Thousand – But, Who’s Counting?

October 30, 2009 By: Tylar Masters Category: H1N1 News, Medtipster

Tylar Masters

Tylar Masters

The actual number of confirmed cases of swine flu could be nearly 140 times greater than originally reported.

The swine flu has everyone talking, and everyone concerned in one way or another. It’s a topic we hear about daily in the news. The shortage of the H1N1 vaccine has sent millions into a panic, especially those with young children or caretakers of elders, who are at the highest risk.

The number of laboratory confirmed cases from April 2009 to July 2009 is approximately 44,000 in the United States alone. But what if that number is completely inaccurate? How would that effect the supply of the H1N1 vaccine now that flu season is here and we’ve entered into the “fall swing” of the swine flu? Answer: Tremendously.

The truth is that the estimate could be off just a little. Like 5,656,000, but who’s counting? Well, every single concerned American for one! According to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Harvard School of Public Health, the actual number of infected individuals in the United States is between 1.8 million and 5.7 million. That’s up to 140 times greater than the earlier reported 44,000 infected Americans.

The CDC and Harvard suggest that “health systems and infrastructure may be unprepared in the short-term if plans are based on a number of confirmed cases.” That being said, knowing the true number of confirmed cases seems like a high priority.

Resources: Bloomberg, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Harvard School of Public Health

Tylar Masters
Manager of Marketing and Communications
Medtipster, LLC.
email: tmasters@medtipster.com
web address: www.medtipster.com

New Link to Microsoft Powered H1N1 Response Center

October 29, 2009 By: Tylar Masters Category: H1N1 News, Medtipster

Tylar Masters

Tylar Masters

Helpful Link Directs Users to Microsoft Powered H1N1 Response Center

Medtipster.com has added a new feature to the website to help consumers determine if their symptoms align with seasonal flu or H1N1 swine flu. By clicking on the “Helpful Links” tab on the menu bar from any of Medtipster.com’s pages, the “Flu Self-Assessment,” licensed by Emory University, and powered by Microsoft, will walk consumers through a series of questions and will provide a suggestion as to whether the symptoms are flu-like or possibly another illness.

It’s always important to talk to your physician about your health concerns. Medtipster.com and Microsoft’s H1N1 Response Center does not provide medical advice and does not replace the advice of a healthcare professional. Medtipster.com and Microsoft cannot guarantee and is not responsible for the accuracy of the guidance for your situation. We encourage you to evaluate it carefully and take the following into consideration:

  • If you are worried about your health, call your doctor.
  • If you do not have a doctor, go to a walk-in clinic (Medtipster.com’s mini-clinic search will help you find one in your neighborhood)
  • If you think you have an emergency, call 9-1-1.

For more information on the seasonal flu or H1N1 swine flu, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/.

Tylar Masters
Manager of Marketing and Communications
Medtipster, LLC.
email: tmasters@medtipster.com
web address: www.medtipster.com

A&P working with ESI Medical to conduct flu shot clinics

October 06, 2009 By: Nadia Category: H1N1 News

Nádia - your personal pharmacy cost adviser

Nádia - your personal pharmacy cost adviser

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company has partnered with ESI Medical to conduct seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccination clinics in 250 stores in six states until Dec. 23. The company also is offering a “buy one, get one free” deal on flu shots to customers who use their Club Cards to purchase $100 worth of beauty care and health products.

Find your nearest A&P Pharmacy by using medtipster.com

CVS/pharmacy Celebrates Grand Opening of its 7,000th Store

September 25, 2009 By: Nadia Category: Medtipster, Prescription News

Nádia - your personal pharmacy cost adviser CVS/pharmacy opened its 7,000th store in Little Canada, Minnesota. As part of the grand opening, Larry Merlo, President of CVS/pharmacy, announced details of a CVS plan to offer $75,000 worth of free seasonal flu shots to the unemployed in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The effort is part of CVS Caremark’s nationwide campaign to provide $3 million in free flu shots to unemployed Americans across the country. The 2,500 vouchers for free seasonal flu shots will be distributed in collaboration with Minnesota’s DEED beginning in October in an effort to keep this at-risk population healthy this flu season.

Find this CVS location and one closest to you by using medtipster.com

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