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The pharmacist isn’t just someone in a white coat who hands out bottles of pills anymore. The role of pharmacists has been changing and expanding dramatically over the last several years.
Now, pharmacists in all 50 states can offer a service previously reserved for doctors and nurses: administering vaccinations. Retail pharmacies across the country are racing to join the immunization trend, with Weis Markets recently announcing that it would spend the year making sure all its pharmacists were trained to give vaccinations.
A sign at the in-store pharmacy at a Weis Markets store promotes vaccinations for shingles, a complication that occurs in elderly and immune-deficient people resulting from the same virus that causes chicken pox. It’s timely, considering the Food and Drug Administration recently approved Merck’s shingles vaccine Zostavax (zoster vaccine live) for patients ages 50 years and older.