Tonya Shackelford: December 14, 2017


Health Experts Share the Top 5 Flu Fighter Tips for Healthier Holidays 

Tonya Shackelford

Pharmacist & Director of Clinical and Professional Services, Fred’s Pharmacy


According to the CDC, influenza activity begins in the months of October and November, and peaks between December and February. Annually, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized due to complications from the flu and the majority of those are over the age of 65. In order to reduce the spread of the flu during the holidays and long after, experts assert flu vaccinations are still the number one way to prevent proliferation of the flu.

Top 5 Flu Fighter Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

  • Get a Flu Vaccination
  • Wash Your Hands, Often
  • Sneeze into Your Elbow
  • Stay Home from School or Work When You’re Sick
  • Encourage Everyone, Especially Those 65+ to Get Vaccinated

Flu activity peaks in December. During this time, most people face a higher risk of contracting the flu because they’re exposed to more people and places during the holidays. With a higher level of exposure from these holiday gatherings, flu vaccinations are crucial in fighting the spread of the flu each season and a great way to give the gift of health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu vaccinations for everyone – especially those who are considered “high risk”: children six months of age or older, those 65 years or older and those who have diabetes or chronic heart conditions.

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In 2015, Tonya, a licensed pharmacist, began her current role as Director of Clinical and Professional Services for fred’s Pharmacy and serves as the media spokesperson. In this role, Tonya oversees a clinical field team of seven pharmacists, working with the pharmacies at the local level to improve and execute fred’s Pharmacy clinical offerings, including flu vaccinations, immunizations, Medication Therapy Management (MTM), health testing, quality and adherence programs. Since joining fred’s Pharmacy, one of Tonya’s leading initiatives is to integrate MTM and immunizations into the retail pharmacy workflow to improve patient outcomes, experiences and overall health and wellness. Tonya graduated with a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Mississippi in 1994.



Tracing its history back to an original store in Coldwater, Mississippi, opened in 1947, today fred’s Pharmacy is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, and operates 601 pharmacy and general merchandise stores and three specialty pharmacy-only locations, including 14 franchised fred’s Pharmacy locations. With a unique store format and strategy that combines the best elements of a healthcare-focused drug store with a value-focused retailer, fred’s Pharmacy stores offer more than 12,000 frequently purchased items that address the healthcare and everyday needs of its customers and patients. This includes nationally recognized brands, proprietary fred’s Pharmacy label products, and a full range of value-priced selections. The company has two distribution centers, one in Memphis, Tennessee, and Dublin, Georgia. For more information about fred’s Pharmacy, visit

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