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Vaccine Advice

Danny Cross final draft (6)By Michael BromkaDanny Cross is a pharmacist clinician of Advanced Medications and Southwest Pharmacy on 2402 W Pierce St in Carlsbad, just a stone’s throw from Carlsbad Medical Center.Believers in preventative healthcare, Danny and staff administer thousands of immunizations each year.“In the old days, pharmacy was speculative chemistry, mixing herbs and powders,” says Danny Cross.Now it reflects deeper insights from genetics, virology, and microbiology.Every new drug or vaccine is double-blind tested on tens of thousands of volunteers for safety and efficacy.“A patient sometimes will say —‘That shot you gave me made me sick!’But a body’s reaction, usually small but sometimes middling, is just its way of building immunity.The few achy days that some folks get from Shingrix is slight compared to recurrent painful weeks of full blown shingles.And a day in bed sleeping off a coronavirus vaccination is far better than lifelong impairment or death fromCOVID-19."An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.Vaccines offer a lifesaving measure with minimal risk compared to the diseases they prevent.Look at science backed up by testing and data, and you’ll see that.“There‘s a glut of information from media and internet.If taken out of context, it’s overwhelming.I don’t always trust government.But I assess that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) have done an outstanding job.They’ve responded well to this pandemic considering their finite resources. Their websites offer very reliable information on COVID-19 and vaccines.“Healthcare workers were among the first wave to receive vaccinations, battling the pandemic.Early on here locally, the Federal distribution plan tasked Walgreens and CVS to vaccinate clients of Lakeview, Landsun and CARC.Our elderly and most vulnerable residents could get immunized.”

As a frontline healthcare professional, Danny himself contracted COVID-19 in November, missing three weeks of work in convalescence and quarantine.As well, both he and son Michael each missed a day after their coronavirus inoculation.Yet, neither one was reluctant to be vaccinated.“I like the analogy that this vaccine is like putting on a fireproof suit that gives you a 95% chance of surviving severe fire. You still likely wouldn’t walk into an inferno to test if you’ll survive.So just abide by sensible survival practices.“Wear a mask, avoid indoor crowds, stay safe at home, keep your distance, wash your hands, don’t shake hands with others, and don’t touch your face.Quarantine and care for anyone who does contract the contagion.Current technology allows for Zoom, FaceTime, phone, text, e-mail to ward off feelings of isolation.So we may be spared a worsening pandemic.“But some folks assert —‘I have the right NOT to wear a mask.Don’t step on my rights!’And in the 30-to 40-year-old crowd there’s a NewAge contingent who think they’re ten feet tall and bulletproof.Or they will till they contract a disease they avoided being vaccinated against.“Folks fretted about the supposed speed of vaccine development.How did it happen so quickly, rabbit out of a hat?Heck, the CDC researchers have been fiddling with coronaviruses for a decade, in-depth experimentation to study mRNA and vaccine production.Their research gets published regularly, with the track all laid to ramp up in whichever direction needed.It’s no longer the slow dark slog of seekinga polio vaccine in the 1940s.“Every year the likeliest influenza strains get selected for vaccine production.CDC makes an educated guess which will pose the biggest risk.That selection becomes your autumn flu shot and preventative.This last winter —belt and suspenders —we all wore masks as well.So, our annual flu outbreak took a nosedive.An ounce of prevention!“About twenty years ago, severalpharmacists from Eddy and Chaves county changed the landscape of preventative healthcare.Through political and regulatory changes plus training, they enabled vaccinations to be offered at your local pharmacy.Now, pharmacies are a primary source for immunizations.

“Insurance companies, legislatures, and private employers backed this for one big reason.Vaccinated folks tend to stay healthy.They don’t run up expenses from illness and convalescence. Healthy employees show up to work.Productivity roars along.“Here at Advanced Medications we’ve kept busy just vaccinating 800 of our in-house regulars against COVID-19.“A few months ago, Eddy County Commission studied data that our county lagged behind in immunizations against COVID-19.That’s when Eddy County, the City of Carlsbad, Carlsbad Medical Center, and New Mexico State Health Department resolved to teamed up.They’ve done a great job!Federal authorities sped forward a supply of vaccine.And out at the Civic Center the coalition has offered mass vaccination clinics to our citizens every Monday.Local Vietnam War Army veteran Milton Limbert asked a web-savvy friend to register him for vaccination he phoned Advanced Medications to get on (at the time) their stand-by list.Within a weekthey called to schedule his first shot.Milton agreed to be photographed getting his second shot.And, to safeguard against losing his proof-of-vax, he allowed a second photo posed with the card.“I’m not afraid of needles,” says Milton.“The shot made my sore arm for a day is all.That’s better than gasping away my final years praying for a lung transplant.Or a terminal month intubated on a ventilator, mulling my COVID-19 regrets.No thank you!I’m glad to be safely vaccinated.

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