Local demand for flu vaccine is heavy
Monday, January 14, 2013 10:00 AM
The nasty flu season is taking its toll nationally on vaccine supply, and local pharmacies report they, too, are feeling the pinch.
Meanwhile, Jefferson County Health Department Administrator Tammy Monroe said the health department has plenty of the flu vaccine to go around.
Walgreens pharmacy spokesman Robert Elfinger said the Madison store will be receiving a new shipment of the flu vaccine sometime today, though he said the company could not release vaccine numbers for individuals stores. Since news broke of the aggressive flu season, Walgreens locations have had a significant jump in customers requesting the immunization, Elfinger said. The local Walgreens location is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
A Kroger pharmacy technician said the store ran out of the flu vaccine last week and also expected more to arrive today.
Kroger customers can receive the vaccination during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. For those without insurance, the flu vaccine costs $25.
Attempts to contact the Madison Apothecary were unsuccesssful.
At the health department, Monroe said nurses began seeing an increase in flu-wary residents last week. Until then, the department had just one or two walk-ins each day requesting the vaccine. On Thursday, nurses administered 61 vaccinations and another 53 on Friday.
"That's pretty high for this time of year," Monroe said.
A typical flu season runs from January to April, Monroe said, and the health department began its flu clinics in September.
To support the increase, Monroe said the department will try to keep a nurse available to administer the vaccinations during regular business hours, which are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The flu shot costs $20.