Flu Shots Anytime!

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Donlon Healthmart Pharmacy has flu vaccine in stock!

A little poke in the arm can protect you and the fragile ones around you from The Flu.

    • Flu shots become available in September or October and it’s best to get one as early as you can.  The protection will last you about 10 months,  so the earlier you get it, the less chance you’ll catch the flu.
    • This year we offer three types of flu shot & we are billing Medicare for the vaccine.
    • We can also help you select the right products to treat your symptoms. Stan and Matthew are always ready to talk with you about the right over the counter products to help you through whatever’s slowing your family down.
    • For information about the other vaccines we offer, [Click Here]

Page Contents

See below for our chart to help you with all the questions of flu season.  You can also pick up the handout at the pharmacy next time you stop by.  Click on any item of the page contents to jump down to that section.

Is it Flu?

  • Flu is very contagious: close exposure to those diagnosed with flu increases your risk.
  • H1N1 (swine flu) is often indistinguishable from the regular seasonal flu.
  • Flu vaccine is the best prevention for any type of flu. Good nutrition, rest & hygiene are also key
  • Final diagnosis & treatment should be handled by your doctor, if your symptoms become severe
Signs & SymptomsCommon ColdSeasonal FluH1N1 (swine flu)
Symptom OnsetGradual onsetSudden onsetSame as Flu
Fever/ ChillsRareCommon, high (over 101° F), lasting 3-4 daysSame as Flu
CoughHacking, moderateDry, may be severeSame as Flu
Body/ Muscle achesSlight or noneUsual, often severeSame as Flu
Headache, eye burningRareProminentSame as Flu
Tiredness & weaknessSlight or noneUsual: may last 2 - 3 weeksSame as Flu
Extreme exhaustionNeverEarly & ProminentSame as Flu
Chest discomfortMild to moderateCommonSame as Flu
Vomiting or diarrheaNeverSometimesSame as Flu
Sore ThroatCommonCommonSame as Flu
Stuffy/runny noseCommonSometimesSame as Flu
PreventionHand washingVaccine, Hand washingSame as Flu
TreatmentRest, fluids, patience: nothing will shorten the course. Use OTC products for symptoms if desired.Rest, fluids, stay home & avoid others through 24 hours after fever clears. Use OTC products for symptoms.Same as Flu
CureNone. Time is the only cure.Most cases will resolve with time. Severe cases may require medicationSame as Flu
Danger signs: see a doctor right awayNoneTrouble breathing, Pain/pressure in chest / abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe vomiting.Same as Flu
Emergency Room VisitNeverRareSame as Flu
  • All colds & most cases of flu (either type) will resolve without medical care or medications: Take care of yourself, avoid infecting others and be patient.
  • Flu shots are available at Donlon Healthmart Pharmacy anytime. Walk-ins are welcome. Cost: $25.

Flu Complication Risk Factors

Persons with the following issues are at an increased risk for complications if they get the flu.

  • Children under age 5, especially under age 2. Adults age 65 or older
  • Pregnant women
  • Asthma, COPD or lung disease
  • Any neurological or developmental disorder, such as epilepsy, stroke, etc.
  • Heart, kidney or liver disease
  • Diabetes or other endocrine or metabolic disease
  • Any other chronic illness that is debilitating, weakens the immune system, or which could increase the danger of a respiratory problem.

Prevention is more important for these people and medical treatment may be suggested earlier if their flu seems to be worsening.

What do I mean by 3 flavors of Flu Shot?

Starting in 2012, we carry 3 different types of Flu Shot, outlined below.  Good news!  Each of these may be given at the same time you get your Tdap (whooping cough) vaccine or your Shingles vaccine. Ask the pharmacist for more information about these vaccines we also offer here.

Stop by anytime that’s convenient to you: we offer Walk-In Service: no appointment is necessary.

  1. Regular Flu Shot goes in the arm muscle and is available to all: this is the one we’re all used to.  Medicare will usually pay 100% of this shot.  A very few private insurance plans give a better copay than our $25 cash price.
  2. Intradermal Flu Shot has a very tiny micro-needle that puts the vaccine just under the skin, so it won’t make the muscle sore.  It may still be uncomfortable in the area where it is given.  This vaccine has been shown to be just as effective as the regular shot but it is limited to ages 18 – 64.
  3. High-Dose Flu Shot for Seniors is limited to ages 65 & up:
  • The High-Dose vaccine contains 4 times as much antigen in order to compensate for the lowered immune response of seniors. Use is restricted to patients age 65 or more.
  • It has not yet been fully proven to be more effective than the Regular shot: the extra benefit is still theoretical.  There’s no downside to this shot (unless you have to pay cash for it: it costs more) and many pharmacists expect the research to eventually prove a greater benefit.
  • Medicare will usually pay 100% of this shot.
  • Note: We are currently out of stock of the High-Dose shot (10/2012): it has been very popular!

 

Who should get the Flu Shot? (combined seasonal/ H1N1 vaccine)

  • Everyone. 2010 CDC recommendations call for all persons aged 6 months or more.
  • If age 18 or more, we can administer the flu shot right here at the pharmacy, without a prescription.

People in the following groups are at higher risk and should be first in line:

  • Age 50 or older or any child between 6 months and 19 years of age
  • Anyone who works or lives with children or with people at risk for complications (see above) or anyone who lives or works in a nursing home
  • Health care workers
  • Pregnant women
  • Those with chronic disorders such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, etc. (See above)

Over The Counter (OTC) products that may provide symptom relief

  • Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen for fever, headache, body aches & pains.
  • Pseudoephedrine or oxymetazoline spray for nasal or sinus congestion.
  • Diphenhydramine may help with runny nose and can help with getting better sleep. Loratadine is a non-drowsy option. Both are antihistamines designed for allergies.
  • Guaifenesin can help with chest congestion/ productive cough.
  • Dextromethorphan can help suppress persistent daytime coughing.
  • Please ask one of our pharmacists for suggestions or assistance anytime.
  • If your symptoms become severe, do not hesitate to see a doctor.

Asian girl sneezing in a handkerchief
Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Hygiene Matters