By Paul T. Choate
Jan. 21, 2013. If you haven’t heard by now that the flu is a big deal this time around, you might be living under a rock. If you have heard and just haven’t gotten that flu shot though it’s past time to.
According to Corey Furman, pharmacist and pharmacy manager of Boone Drug at King Street, there has been a high demand for flu shots ever since the outbreak ramped up in December.
“We were trucking along at just a normal pace for the season and then right before Christmas, when the big scare started, we were flooded with people,” Furman said. “The stock that we ordered in the summer — we ran completely out and we did some reorders. We have done reorders about four times.”
Furman said the most important thing people need to know about the flu shot is how easy it is to get. He said the entire process from walking in the drug store to walking out vaccinated takes about 30 minutes, and most of that time is spent doing paperwork and processing the insurance.
The flu shot is free for people with health insurance and only costs $23.99 if you do not have any insurance.
“[$23.99] is not bad compared to the days of missed work the flu will cause,” Furman said, adding that most people who get the flu end up being out of work about a week.
Furman advised that, though people should have already gotten their flu shots, it is not too late to get one. He also said that it is important for people to understand that it is impossible to get the flu from the flu shot.
The flu shots are going fast this late in the game. Only two Boone Drug locations within Boone are still offering the flu shot. You can still get it at the King Street location from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and at the Deerfield location from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The Foscoe Boone Drug store, Foscoe Pharmacy, is also offering the flu shot Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday this week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. After this week, they will be offered only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Boone Drug’s Avery Pharmacy is out of flu shots and is directing those seeking a vaccination to the Deerfield location in Boone.
As of the most recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Jan. 12, North Carolina’s flu activity is still listed as widespread and anyone who has not been vaccinated is highly encouraged to get their flu shot. As of the Jan. 12 report, the flu has claimed the lives of 31 North Carolinians this flu season.
For more information about getting your flu shot at one of Boone Drug’s locations, visit boonedrug.com.
For more on the flu, visit flu.nc.gov/data.
Want a flu shot?
Boone Drug — King St.
202 W. King St., Boone
Pharmacy hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
Boone Drug — Deerfield
345 Deerfield Road, Boone
Pharmacy hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
520 Church Road, Banner Elk
Pharmacy hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
2147 Blowing Rock Road, Boone
Pharmacy hours: 24/7
325 Pineola St., Newland
Pharmacy hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day
2184 Blowing Rock Road, Boone
Pharmacy hours: 24/7
Watauga County Health Department
126 Poplar Grove Connector
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday
Avery County Health Department
545 Schultz Circle, Newland
Hours: Open at 8 a.m., ask that no flu shots be requested past 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday