West Side Health & Fitness News & Notes
Local physicians encourage pneumococcal vaccination
AKRON — In an effort to improve pneumococcal vaccination rates among cardiac patients, the Northeast Ohio Cardiovascular Specialists (NEOCS), Ritzman Pharmacy, Walgreens and the American Heart Association have joined together with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) to make sure heart patients receive a pneumococcal vaccine that can help protect them from an infection called pneumococcal disease.
The initiative is being led by Dr. Thomas File Jr., chairman of the infectious disease division at Summa Health System in Akron and president of NFID, and NEOCS Corporate Executive Board Co-Chairman Dr. William Bauman.
While the infection can be serious for anyone, those with chronic health conditions are at higher risk for complications, according to NFID officials. For people with heart disease, these complications can include heart attacks.
The vaccination is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association for any adult with heart disease.
Through an ongoing program, the NEOCS is encouraging all heart patients to visit a local Ritzman Pharmacy or Walgreens to receive their vaccination.
File said this program can serve as a model to help improve vaccination rates in other cities around the country.
Pneumococcal vaccination is also recommended for people 18 and older with other underlying conditions — such as diabetes and asthma — and for everyone 65 and older. For more information, talk with your health care provider or pharmacist or visit nfid.org/pneumococ cal.
Stephanie Kist contributed to this report.
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