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Flu Season Hits New Canaan, and Shots Scarce

Local pharmacies see more cases than past years.

Those is New Canaan who have delayed rolling up their sleeves and receiving a flu shot may have to wait a bit longer—local pharmacies have run dry of vaccines.

"We ran out last Friday," said Kim Fernandez, the manager of the CVS on Park Street. "We're expecting a shipment later this week, but can't say exactly when."

Fernandez said the pharmacy has seen a stunning uptick in flu cases compared to last season. Still, the store's shelves are stocked with the necessary items to combat the flu once it's settled in: decongestants, fever medicine and Advil.

Just a few blocks away, at Varnums Pharmacy on Main Street, pharmacist Shital Shah says it's more of the same.

"We're selling more flu medicine than usual," she said. Varnums does not stock flu shots, but their shelves are lined with all the familiar remedies.

"We've been busy since December," Shah added.

The Walgreens in New Canaan was out of flu shots Monday afternoon, employees told Patch.

Officials in New York have declared a health emergency as a result of the flu's spread, but Connecticut politicos have yet to follow suit. About 36,000 people die in the United States as a result of the flu, according to officials.

centi January 15, 2013 at 01:45 PM
New canan health dept was annoyed that I called them to see if they had flu shots for children, asking who was giving out their number. Local pediatrician a did not order enough and had no resources on whom to call. Meanwhile Norwalk Darien had local clinics and Greenwich hd was extremely helpful by referring us to local ped giving out shot. Shame on new Canaan.
Glen K Dunbar January 15, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Are you surprised Kim? Grown ups can be such fuddy duddy types. As for WalGreen They are my favorite drug store in town. I am sure once they have flu shots in stock people can start to go there for their shots.
Lisa Buchman (Editor) January 15, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Anyone having luck at their doctor's offices? Anyone without a shot not concerned at all?
Ade January 15, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Rudeness and lack of resource information from your doctor aside, the shame is placed squarely on you, Kim, for not getting vaccines for your kids this fall when they were plentiful. When you wait until it the media pulls the proverbial fire alarm announcing an epidemic, it's really your own fault for being left hanging. Set an alarm on your iPhone for the first Monday in October to make appointments for your entire family and then you won't be left scrambling. Flu season, like Christmas and tax day, comes every year. It's not really a surprise you can't be prepared for.
NCHammer January 15, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Kim, just give your children vitamin D and A (all immune system boosters) and it will be as effective a flu shot that is publicly stated to be effective 60% of the time and won't even protect them for TWO weeks from inoculation date anyway....
mbhs January 16, 2013 at 03:01 AM
I'm sorry to hear that people weren't helpful but the town of New Canaan did indeed offer to help citizen's fight the flu - see post from Patch this fall: On Sunday, Oct. 2 from 1-3:30 p.m., the New Canaan Health Department will hold its Seasonal Flu Clinic at Saxe Middle School in the main gym. Open to all - adults and children. Also as it takes at least 2 weeks for a flu shot to reach its full effectiveness, rushing to get one in them middle of an epidemic probably won't help much.
thomas January 16, 2013 at 07:21 PM
rich folks do not like camping out with nature they are concrete people all the time
centi January 17, 2013 at 12:23 PM
thanks for most of your comments which were helpful! Ade, just to let you know, in CT local towns are responsible for providing flu shots not the state. Flu shots should be available all season long even for us proscrastinators. There is no shortage of flu shots from suppliers. However, all that aside, folks in New Canaan should be able to provide timely and helpful information regarding health. And why can't New Canaan have a flu shot clinic? Aren't we one of the richest towns in the country.
Ade January 17, 2013 at 01:32 PM
I didn't say anything about state vs town, so I'm not sure why you want to point that out to me. New Canaan, as meg posted, does host a flu shot clinic in October, when it is most effective to get the shot. That's where I got mine the last two years. The town orders their supply based on the number of people who generally show up for the clinic, just as the pediatricians order based on previous demand. If they had 100 people show up in October that they could not serve, they could then easily order more and have a second clinic. They don't order a stock pile for potential procrastinators because if there is no media frenzy, or it is a light flu season, they are left sitting on wasted supply. The town sometimes has a small supply left after a clinic and then you can make an appointment with the HD to get a shot at their office. I did that last year because I was out of town for the clinic date. All of the major pharmacy chains had shots available up until panic set in. There are ample opportunities to get a vaccine if you are proactive about it. Take responsibility for yourself and your family and don't be a procrastinator if getting a flu shot is something you want to do. In the meantime, keep a jug of hand sanitizer in your car and use it often.
Ade January 17, 2013 at 02:06 PM
And, just so you are prepared for next year, if you don't go to the town clinic and your doctor's office is not an option, the walk-in clinic at the Tully in Stamford offers shots for all ages, Firefly after hours pediatrics is where my friends with young kids have gone, and many urgent care clinics in the area offer them, too. All of the major pharmacy chains, as well as pharmacies in Stop & Shop and Target, have had them available this fall. Whether any of these places have it available now, would probably mean dialing the phone to ask a real person for their real time inventory. The flu.gov website lists every pharmacy from here to CA.
Canaanite January 18, 2013 at 09:02 PM
I did not get a flu shot - am not a believer in overloading my immune system with every immunization under the sun - and have no intention of getting a flu shot. I've already had the flu (first time in 5 years) and while not pleasant, it was not the end of the world . . . only a few long days of some discomfort and lots of sleep. True everyone around me has been sick, but that's the way it goes . . . Some years are worse than others.

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