Belew Drugs Immunizations

All three of our locations offer multiple immunizations.

  • Influenza vaccine (Flu)
  • Pneumococcal vaccine (Pneumonia)
  • Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria vaccine (adult Td)
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis vaccine (Tdap)
  • Hepatitis A vaccine
  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Meningococcal vaccine
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine

Belew Drugs strives to always give you the most comprehensive healthcare available.

Why Immunize?

Why immunize our children? Sometimes we are confused by the messages in the media. First we are assured that, thanks to vaccines, some diseases are almost gone from the U.S. But we are also warned to immunize our children, ourselves as adults, and the elderly.

Diseases are becoming rare due to vaccinations. It’s true, some diseases (like polio and diphtheria) are becoming very rare in the U.S. Of course, they are becoming rare largely because we have been vaccinating against them. But it is still reasonable to ask whether it’s really worthwhile to keep vaccinating. It’s much like bailing out a boat with a slow leak. When we started bailing, the boat was filled with water. But we have been bailing fast and hard, and now it is almost dry. We could say, “Good. The boat is dry now, so we can throw away the bucket and relax.” But the leak hasn’t stopped. Before long we’d notice a little water seeping in, and soon it might be back up to the same level as when we started.

Keep immunizing until disease is eliminated.Unless we can “stop the leak” (eliminate the disease), it is important to keep immunizing. Even if there are only a few cases of disease today, if we take away the protection given by vaccination, more and more people will be infected and will spread disease to others. Soon we will undo the progress we have made over the years. Japan reduced pertussis vaccinations, and an epidemic occurred. In 1974, Japan had a successful pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination program, with nearly 80% of Japanese children vaccinated. That year only 393 cases of pertussis were reported in the entire country, and there were no deaths from pertussis. But then rumors began to spread that pertussis vaccination was no longer needed and that the vaccine was not safe, and by 1976 only 10% of infants were getting vaccinated.

In 1979 Japan suffered a major pertussis epidemic, with more than 13,000 cases of whooping cough and 41 deaths. In 1981 the government began vaccinating with acellular pertussis vaccine, and the number of pertussis cases dropped again. What if we stopped vaccinating? So what would happen if we stopped vaccinating here? Diseases that are almost unknown would stage a comeback. Before long we would see epidemics of diseases that are nearly under control today. More children would get sick and more would die. We vaccinate to protect our future.

We don’t vaccinate just to protect our children. We also vaccinate to protect our grandchildren and their grandchildren. With one disease, smallpox, we “stopped the leak” in the boat by eradicating the disease. Our children don’t have to get smallpox shots any more because the disease no longer exists. If we keep vaccinating now, parents in the future may be able to trust that diseases like polio and meningitis won’t infect, cripple, or kill children. Vaccinations are one of the best ways to put an end to the serious effects of certain diseases.

What you need to know

The influenza (flu) vaccine was about 60% effective overall for the 2011-2012 season according to Dr. Joseph Bresee, Chief of the epidemiology and prevention branch in CDC’s influenza division. Dr. Bresee goes on to say, “we know flu vaccine is not perfect.” “It is not the best tool in an ideal world, but it is the best tool we have right now to protect against the flu.” ” We are working on figuring out how to make vaccine faster; how to make vaccine that works better in the elderly; and how to make vaccine that cross-protects against different flu viruses, but in the mean time, we need to use the tool we have at our disposal, to protect as many people as we can.”

Manufacturers reported distributing 132 million doses of influenza (flu) vaccine for the 2011-2012 season in the United States.

Influenza (flu) and Pneumonia combine to rank as the 8th leading cause of death in the Unites States, both of which are vaccine preventable illnesses, according to the 2009 WISQARS report.

Tara B. Moore
Pharm.D. & Director of Patient Care Services

Belew Drugs Family of Pharmacies
5908 Asheville Hwy, Ste 102
Knoxville, TN 37918

(865) 525-4967 or (865) 525-4189


Immunizations in the workplace

Belew Drugs also offers an immunization program for business owners. To Schedule a professional vaccination clinic for your employees please contact Tara.

FAQ & Myths

The most common side effect of the flu vaccine in adults is soreness at the spot where the shot was given, which usually lasts less than two days. The soreness is often caused by a person’s immune system making protective antibodies to the killed viruses in the vaccine. These antibodies are what allows the body to fight against the flu. The needlestick may also cause some soreness at the injection site.

There are several reasons why someone might get flu-like symptoms even after they have been vaccinated against the flu.

People may be exposed to an influenza virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the two-week period that it takes the body to gain protection after getting vaccinated. This exposure may result in a person becoming ill with flu before the vaccine begins to protect them.

People may become ill from other (non-flu) viruses that circulate during the flu season, which can also cause flu-like symptoms (such as rhinovirus).

A person may be exposed to an influenza virus that is not included in the vaccine. There are many different influenza viruses.

Unfortunately, some people can remain unprotected from flu despite getting the vaccine. This is more likely to occur among people that have weakened immune systems. However, even among people with weakened immune system, the flu vaccine can still help prevent influenza complications.

Flu vaccination provides protection against the influenza strains contained in the vaccine through one influenza season. Vaccination can begin as soon as vaccine is available. Studies have not demonstrated a benefit of receiving more than one dose during an influenza season, even among elderly persons with weakened immune systems.

No. CDC recommends that providers begin to offer influenza vaccination as soon as vaccine becomes available in the Fall, but if you have not been vaccinated by Thanksgiving (or the end of November), it can still be protective to get vaccinated in December or later because influenza disease usually peaks in January and February most years, and disease can occur as late as May.

The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but the are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar flu-like symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.

No, the flu shot cannot cause flu illness. The three influenza viruses contained in the flu vaccine are each inactivated (killed), which means they cannot cause infection. Flu vaccine manufactures kill the viruses used in the vaccine during the process of making vaccine, and batches of flu vaccine are tested to make sure they are safe.