Campaign to shine a light on vaccine options

By  | 

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Adolescents can save a trip to the doctor and get important vaccines at a pharmacy. In case you didn't know that, a new campaign is hoping to enlighten you.

They're vaccines that can save lives but not all teens and young adults in Nebraska are getting them.

Dr. Donald Klepser, with UNMC’s College of Pharmacy, said, "For one reason or another, parents don't follow up on those quite as much. We see our rates of vaccination for some of those immunizations are much lower than what we would like them to be."

Dr. Klepser says the older kids don't necessarily get the same attention as babies and preschoolers. In fact doctors at UNMC say only 61 percent of girls and 56 percent of boys in Nebraska are up to date on their HPV vaccine. The new campaign is hoping to help.

Dr. Klepser said, "This is an issue. We need to increase our rates for these vaccinations but then ultimately that we get more kids vaccinated."

An anonymous $300,000 donation is helping fund the campaign to raise awareness for vaccines for adolescents and just how easy it is to get them. Shots like those for tetanus, whooping cough and meningitis. Vaccines you can get at pharmacies.

Dr. Klepser said, "If you go in for your flu shot, you can get your other adolescent vaccinations at that time, on that day. You don't have to make a special appointment."

He said you can expect to see billboards and ads on buses in the next few weeks helping to get the message out.

“The more visibility we can get, the more often we can get the message in front of people, the more likely they are to get the vaccinations."

The campaign is set to last two years. CVS, Walgreens and Hy-Vee pharmacies are all partnering with UNMC and the Douglas County Health Department on the project.

Dr. Klepser says health insurance normally covers the vaccines.