SPRINGFIELD (WGGB) — Talking to friends and family you’re no doubt aware the flu is hitting hard this year.
Just today the American Red Cross issued a statement urging everyone to get a flu shot. And it looks like people are listening.
A large sign inside the Louis and Clark pharmacy in Springfield says it all: Flu shots today.
Pharmacist Kulsoom Ahmed-Kagzi says they’re definitely seen an increase in people seeking vaccinations. “We do see a higher volume coming in now than we usually see in October and November. Now we’re seeing it more at the tail end of December and January.
Like many pharmacies these days, Louis and Clark not only dispenses medicine, it also administers the flu shot. They’ve seen a spike in the sales of medication to fight flu symptoms, especially the prescription drug Tamiflu. But ultimately Ahmed-Kagzi says your best bet is to get vaccinated.
Each shot contains three flu strains – strains scientists identified as being the likely ones to hit the U.S. this flu season. But it’s really just an educated guess – which could be why so many people are getting sick. A small number of people could have a strain the current flu shot doesn’t protect against.
“There is a chance there could be a strain out there that is contagious but we still have to get protected for the other strains that are out there that are covered by the flu shot,” said Ahmed-Kagzi.
Something to keep in mind if you’ve put off getting your flu shot – it takes about 2 weeks to become fully protected. And unlike previous years, where there’s been a shortage of vaccines, this year there are plenty to go around.
Along with Louis and Clark pharmacy, CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid also offer flu shots to their customers.