Flu season: Give it a shot

Summit Express Pharmacy owner Tim Stamps gives a flu shot. Stamps says demand for flu shots has risen this year.

Flu season kicked off at the beginning of the month, with medical and pharmaceutical professionals expressing increased interest in flu prevention since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have found many more people are more concerned and more proactive to prevent them getting the flu this year,” Summit Express Pharmacy owner Tim Stamps said. “We have been giving many more flu shots this year as opposed to last year, especially in those 65 and above.

“Mixing all of this with COVID, people are uneasy. They are more cautious because of their COVID worries, and nobody really knows what the winter is going to bring.”

There are two types of flu vaccines: regular and high-dosage. Stamps said the demand for the high-dosage flu vaccine has risen, noting that earlier in the season, his pharmacy was short on them.

“There is a shortage this year, but right now we are in good shape. There were a few weeks when we were without the high dose shots,” he said.

He noted people have also come in for other immune system boosters such as vitamin C, zinc and elder berries, noting an all around increase in people’s awareness of the season.

“It is great to see parents and grandparents come in and say they want to boost their children’s immunity,” he said. “It is neat that people want to help so many others.”

Keith Guy of Guy’s Pharmacy said his store has also felt the effects of the high dose shortage, noting that he believes the coronavirus is to blame.

“In think more people are getting them because of the COVID,” Guy said. “Some of the symptoms are the same for COVID and the flu are the same, so it scares people.” 

Like Stamps, Guy said there has been an increased demand for shots. When contacted Tuesday, Guy was originally unable to answer, noting the busy nature of flu season.

“We had some troubles getting the high dose for those over 65, but we just got in 120 doses, and we have been really busy filling those requests,” Guy said.

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