MINEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Most of the customers inside Setzer Pharmacy and Gift Center are focused on getting prescriptions filled. But it’s hard to ignore the signs of what’s to come.
Posted on the front door and the registers at the pharmacy are reminders that flu shots are available.
“Honestly, this last week we’ve seen a lot more people asking about it,” said pharmacist Jenna Bednar.
She said the pharmacy put in an order for the flu vaccine this spring with the shipment arriving last month. All they’re waiting on now is the high dose recommended for seniors.
“We’ll get that in probably next week or the week after that,” Bednar said.
Catching the sickening bug typically picks up in October, which is why the Minnesota Department of Health suggests people get the flu shot, or nasal spray Flumist, as soon as possible.
“If you happen to have a clinic appointment, if you’re already interacting with the healthcare system and you can get a flu shot, it’s good to take advantage of it when you can,” said Kris Ehresmann, MDH’s director of infectious disease.
It’s especially suggested for kids to get vaccinated sooner rather than later since many are in school where germs can spread quickly. Ehresmann said those considered at risk shouldn’t wait either.
“Elderly individuals, people who have underlying health conditions, the very young. We want to make sure that those individuals have gotten their plan for vaccination as well,” Ehresmann said.
Battling the virus can feel like a never ending ordeal.
“We were filling Tamilfu [which treats flu symptoms] into May last year, so it was a long season,” Bednar said.
Experts say it’s tough to project just how long 2019-2020 season could last, however that’s something they don’t feel people should be worried about when it comes to getting the vaccine.
“The recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend a single influenza vaccine,” Ehresmann said. “So if you got one now, we would not necessarily be recommending that you get an additional dose later in the season.”
Last flu season, experts recommended all patients get the shot instead of the mist. This season, doctors said is once again an option for ages 2 to 49.