Flu Shots Running Low at Local Pharmacies

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

November 3, 2005
Aiken County is starting to run low on flu shots. On Wednesday, News 12 was the first to tell you Richmond and Columbia Counties ran out of flu shots. Now local pharmacies are having to cancel their clinics, too. News 12 is on your side to explain why getting your flu shot right now may be harder to come by than you think.

Over at the Publix on Washington Road, Cassie’s been getting calls left and right about their flu clinic on Friday.

“Some are worried they won’t get it,” said Cassie, pharmacy tech at Publix.

And that seems to be the problem all over the CSRA now including local pharmacies as well. The Publix pharmacy thought they’d have well over 500 doses for their flu clinic but now that number will be cut in half, on a first come first serve basis.

“Due to shortages we received notices this will be the last one Publix will do until further notice,” said Jerry Sapp, store manager of Publix.

The CVS on Wrightsboro Road also planned to hold a clinic on Friday. All in one day they were on, then off and now back on again. Now they are only able to offer 100 shots and are also being forced to cancel the rest of their clinics.

Where you go to get your flu shot on Friday doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s the Publix or the CVS, they’re all saying the same thing. They contract individual drug companies who drive up from out of town to set up the flu clinics at their stores and they determine how many they have to give.

The reason for the shortages remains unclear. Health experts say there is no shortage.

“Nobody should panic. Drug companies assure us we don’t have a shortage, I think they just provided it to the highest risk and slow coming into public health,” said Veleleta Rudnick, RN Aiken County Health Department.

While others may be being told otherwise.

“Wouldn’t give me a solid answer but there’s a shortage of shots now but I understand there won’t be in a week or two but that’s hearsay,” Sapp said.

Barney’s Pharmacy off of Peach Orchard Road says they have 600 flu shots left. All of the health departments in the CSRA expect to get their next shipment of vaccines in around the 9th and 10th of November.


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