If you’re looking to get your flu shot this fall, you’re one of many people rushing to pharmacies and doctors’ offices, health experts say they’re already seeing a growing demand of patients asking for the vaccine.
“This is an unprecedented request,” said pharmacist Tim Brady. “At one store right now I have a list of 50 people and the other I have 200.”
Most pharmacies in the area got the shots earlier this month and are administering them to those high risk patients. Doctors’ offices will be getting their doses of the flu vaccine on Monday.
Brady owns Brady’s Drug Store in Bell River and Essex, both of his locations are administering flu vaccinations. One of the reasons why pharmacies have gotten the doses first before doctors is because the stores get them directly from the distributor.
“The distribution used to go through the health unit,” said Brady. “In the last few years, most pharmacies get it through McKesson.”
Next week doctors will be receiving their doses from the Windsor Essex Health Unit and Dr. Albert Schumache says he’ll be setting up a vaccination system in the parking lot of his clinic.
“We have a list of patients to call and we’ll tell 10 people to come at a certain time to the parking lot,” said Dr. Schumache.
High risk patients being prioritized
Dr. Albert Schumache says he’ll be prioritizing his most at risk patients, those with illnesses or over the age of 65. One of the challenges this year has been the delayed start doctors have had compared to pharmacies.
“I’ve had to ask the pharmacy to take my kidney transplant patient and give him one of the high dose vaccines because he needs it, he’s immunosuppressed” said Dr. Schumache.
“I don’t know why we as physicians haven’t been getting the shots directly from the distributor like pharmacies do,” said Dr. Schumache.
Both doctors and pharmacies will be prioritizing flu vaccinations for the immunocompromised first, many are waiting until they get their second batch of shots later this month to start vaccinating the general population.