Local pharmacies struggle with "High Dose" flu vaccine shortage

Payless, CVS and Walgreens in West Lafayette have been dealing with the shortage. However, Walgreens and CVS do have the dosage in stock currently.

Posted: Oct 21, 2019 11:32 PM
Updated: Oct 21, 2019 11:33 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Several pharmacies in the West Lafayette area have been struggling with a shortage of the "High Dose" flu vaccine. This dose is for those aged 65 or older. According to the CDC, the higher dose of antigen in the vaccine gives the elderly a better immune response.

The pharmacies at Payless, CVS and Walgreens along Sagamore Parkway have all been dealing with the shortage. However, Walgreens and CVS do have the dosage in stock currently. IU Health confirmed that they do not have a shortage of the vaccine. A Payless pharmacist said they quickly went through the small supply they were given.

It is unclear why there is a shortage. Sarah Kennedy is a pharmacist at IU Health. She said the flu can be very dangerous for the elderly.

"The most at-risk groups for the flu are babies and the elderly," she said. "However, everyone can be affected by the flu. They do see deaths in children all the way up to the elderly."

Getting a flu shot is no one's idea of fun, but getting your vaccine now can make all the difference in your health later.

"Everybody six months and older needs to get a vaccine this year," she said, "Hopefully it will prevent you from getting the flu and will lessen your symptoms if you do contract the flu this year."

Kennedy said it's too soon to tell how bad this year's flu season will be, but she said last year was considered to be a severe flu season. The CDC and the FDA monitor all production of the vaccine, and they try to be proactive in curbing the spread of the disease.

"They look and see what they're expecting from other parts of the world and piece together three or four different vaccines into the (main) vaccine so that hopefully they catch what's going to be the most problematic for the year," she said. 

Kennedy said there have already been reports of the flu in Indiana. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough and body aches. This is not to be confused with the stomach flu, which the vaccine does not prevent.

"Stomach flu is more like a stomach bug, it's not necessarily a flu," she said. "That's gastrointestinal issues where we're talking about diarrhea, upset stomach and nausea."

She said October is the prime month to get your flu shot, and they have been busy at IU Health Arnett administering the vaccine. The flu season runs through April. It takes a full two weeks for your flu shot to take effect.

Most insurances cover flu shots for free. Those without insurance can get their shot at the Tippecanoe County Health Department for $20. 

West Lafayette
Scattered Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 46°
Kokomo
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 47°
Rensselaer
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 45°
Fowler
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 45°
Williamsport
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 45°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 46°
Frankfort
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 50°
Delphi
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 47°
Monticello
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 47°
Logansport
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 44°
Calm and Cool Day Ahead.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 118322

Reported Deaths: 3591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21502767
Lake10688323
Elkhart6707111
St. Joseph6619113
Allen6330205
Hamilton4938109
Vanderburgh378131
Hendricks2766124
Monroe265536
Tippecanoe256613
Johnson2352124
Clark225957
Porter219947
Delaware200162
Cass19559
Vigo186827
Madison170375
LaPorte149141
Floyd139664
Warrick138242
Howard132663
Kosciusko125917
Bartholomew118457
Marshall101524
Dubois99919
Boone99146
Grant95134
Hancock94643
Noble93132
Henry81226
Jackson7739
Wayne77014
Morgan73438
Daviess68028
Shelby68029
Dearborn67528
LaGrange64011
Clinton62314
Harrison59224
Putnam58411
Gibson5355
Knox5289
Lawrence51629
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48811
White48714
Decatur45939
Miami4394
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper4012
Scott39011
Steuben3907
Posey3460
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31325
Clay3085
Ripley3078
Orange28824
Whitley2826
Carroll27813
Adams2763
Wabash2728
Starke2717
Washington2701
Wells2674
Spencer2633
Jefferson2503
Huntington2473
Fulton2442
Tipton22822
Randolph2238
Perry22113
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1641
Rush1574
Vermillion1310
Fountain1292
Blackford1213
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1043
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0226

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events