City faces flu shot shortage, some still available
Many pharmacies in Mount Pleasant are out of vaccines during the middle of flu season.
Some pharmacies, like Rite Aid at 117 N. Mission St., gave more than 800 patients flu shots since August. Rite Aid Pharmacy Manager Jai Iserhoth said his pharmacy is down to its last 10 shots.
“With it being the tail end of the flu season, we probably won’t be getting any more shots in stock,” Iserhoth said.
Iserhoth's pharmacy isn’t the only one that gives customers flu shots during the fall. Walgreens, 903 N. Mission St., attempts to get its shots sold during September.
Walgreens pharmacist Sarah Baumann said the pharmacy at her store still offers flu shots, but the fall is when they have the most options for vaccines available.
“It is a little late, but I would definitely advise students to come in if they have not done it at this point,” Baumann said. “Right now, we have two shots available. There’s one that covers for three strains. The other one covers four strains. Both shots contain the H1N1 strain.”
The process for getting a flu shot at a store is simple. The customer pays for the flu shot either with their insurance or with traditional payment methods. Then they fill out a questionnaire, and the pharmacist gives out the shot.
“We give you the shot, and then we ask you to stay about 10 minutes to make sure you don’t have any allergic reactions,” Baumann said.
Flu shots are available at most pharmacies in Mount Pleasant. Other locations include Meijer, CVS, Kmart and University Health Services at Central Michigan University.
Michael Deaton, UHS medical director, said students can benefit from receiving the shots.
“People remain at increased risk for getting the flu for the next four months,” Deaton said in a press release. “Severe influenza usually affects the very young and the very old. However, one of the strains currently in the U.S. predominantly affects children and young adults. Everyone is at risk.”
Many people in good health might end up having the flu when they think it’s something small such as a cold, Iserhoth said.
“I know a 29-year-old person who was airlifted to the University of Michigan. She was physically healthy before, but they were fighting to keep her alive,” Iserhoth said. “If someone has ever came down with the true flu, where it wipes you out for a couple weeks, it’s not something you want to go through again if there’s any way you can prevent it.”
Jacob Zaffron, a sophomore from Illinois, said he had his flu shot last December and he feels more prepared because of it.
“I think it is a good idea because I feel like a lot of people nowadays aren’t exposed to the same germs as they were in the past, and they’re more likely to spread now,” he said. “If people in my hall start to get sick, I know I’ll be fine.”