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LAKELAND LEDGER: Both Parties Collaborated to Pass Beneficial Vaccine Access Act

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Both Parties Collaborated to Pass Beneficial Vaccine Access Act

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.

Conventional wisdom has it that the political parties in Tallahassee are so divided that nothing can get done. Fortunately, for the health of many Floridians, conventional wisdom is wrong this time.

Our legislators have shown recently that they can come together and agree on legislation to ensure better health for all Floridians. The Florida House of Representatives passed the Vaccine Access Act in February by a vote of 118-0. The measure passed in the state Senate by a 36-1 vote. And, just recently, Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill into law. The law allows qualified Florida pharmacists to vaccinate adults against pneumonia and shingles.

We are pleased that Scott signed this legislation so Floridians can receive these vaccinations. Starting in July, from their local, immunizing pharmacist. Allowing pharmacists to administer these specific vaccines is a long-overdue development.

Few health advances provide more bang for the buck than vaccinations. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says vaccines are a safe, cost-effective way to prevent disease.

The cost of a single hospitalization for complications from pneumonia can run into thousands of dollars, to say nothing of the human cost in pain and suffering. But pneumonia can be prevented through vaccination for a low cost of about $60, shows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine price list.


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