Pharmacy Students, Faculty To Help Public Understand New Vaccines

Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2007-10-03

Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy will help the public better understand new vaccines for shingles and cervical cancer during the Southern Women's Show this weekend (Oct. 4-7).

About 70 pharmacy students and 10 faculty members will provide information about Zostavax (for shingles) and Gardasil (for cervical cancer). Both drugs received Food and Drug Administration approval in 2006.

According to "Operation Immunization" co-chair Leigh Fordham, student volunteers, supported by McWhorter faculty members and other registered pharmacists, will answer questions and distribute printed information.

On Thursday, representatives of the Alabama Poison Control Center will share information on how to respond and who to contact in case of a poison emergency.

Also during the four-day show, pharmacists with Southern Pharmaceutical Services will discuss their specialty of women's health and infertility treatments, and community pharmacists will discuss their role in the profession.

The booth is sponsored by the McWhorter chapter of the Academy of Student Pharmacists (ASP). October is American Pharmacists month, which emphasizes "Know Your Medicine, Know Your Pharmacist."

We felt like this was an excellent opportunity for our chapter to provide education to our community," said project co-chair Andrea Gerwin. "We want to represent our profession, not as the ordinary behind-the-counter pharmacist, but as educators for quality health information."

Fordham and Gerwin are both third-year pharmacy students and ASP members.

They have received support from the American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc., Southern Pharmaceutical Services, and MERCK and McKesson drug companies.

The Southern Women's Show, featuring about 200 vendors, is held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

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ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.