Friday, October 3, 2008

Maxim Health Systems Launches Georgia Flu Vaccination Program

PRNewswire/ -- Maxim Health Systems launched its influenza vaccination program on October 1 across the state of Georgia, after recent debates within the state over whether flu shots would be available to patients outside of Physicians' offices.

In early September, the Georgia State Board of Pharmacy and the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners issued statements that the influenza vaccine is a "dangerous drug" and therefore requires a patient-specific prescription. This classification called into question the legality of nurses administering the flu vaccine without a patient specific script.

Dedicated to making the flu vaccine available at convenient locations for Georgia residents, Maxim contacted its retained counsel, Robert Highsmith and Paul Vranicar of Holland & Knight LLP. Highsmith and Vranicar worked with Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and the Division of Public Health (DPH) of the Department of Human Resources to enter into an agency agreement with Maxim to invoke a provision of Georgia law allowing nurses who are agents of the DPH to order and dispense "dangerous drugs" under nurse protocols. In essence, this agreement permits Maxim nurses to continue administering flu shots in Georgia without patient-specific prescriptions.

The Governor also issued a public statement calling on "healthcare professionals [to] act in the best interests of public health and continue prior practices" concerning the administration of flu shots. As a result of the Governor's decisive action and the cooperation of the Division of Public Health, Maxim customers will not experience any impact on the quality of services they have come to expect or the quantity of flu shots available this flu season.

Maxim has partnered with local Georgia retail stores, a list of which can be found at, as part of a national campaign to offer immunizations at more than 25,000 retail locations across the U.S. The program aims to increase the number of people who get vaccinated, a step determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the single most effective way to prevent flu. Maxim's Web site,, helps users quickly locate nearby vaccination sites by simply entering their zip code. This will provide users with the address, driving directions, dates, and times for flu shots at local clinics. The Web site also provides the latest news on influenza and links to other resources to learn more about the flu and prevention strategies.

Each year as many as 65 million Americans fall victim to influenza and flu-related complications, such as pneumonia. This results in approximately 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths, which is more than the number of Americans who die each year from breast cancer, and two to three times as many as those who die from HIV/AIDS.(1) Everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated, especially individuals considered to be at higher risk. The CDC defines those with an increased risk of developing influenza-related complications as:

-- Children aged 6 months -- 18 years old
-- Pregnant women
-- People 50 years of age and older
-- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
-- People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities

"We believe that everyone who can, should get a flu shot and we especially encourage those in high-risk categories along with their family members to get vaccinated," says Steve Pellito, National Director of Maxim Health Systems.

For those who prefer to find a convenient location over the phone, Maxim provides a toll free number at 877-962-9358. Maxim also offers clinics to corporations, senior living facilities, schools, and Physicians' offices to help create ease of access and ensure those at highest risk of contracting the flu have ample resources available to obtain a vaccination.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

No comments: