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Some pharmacies now administering the flu shot to children

The governor has issued an executive order which allows pharmacists to administer flu vaccinations to patients between six months and 18 years of age. However, some pharmacies may not have the right certification to administer flu shots to kids.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Health officials say the flu may have already peaked in Central New York and could be winding down.

“We do not expect to see another peak. Now, all that being said, influenza is unpredictable. It would be extremely unusual to see two peaks in a year that’s not a pan flu year,” said Dr. Cynthia Morrow with the Onondaga County Health Department.

By “pan flu,” Dr. Morrow means a pandemic year, like the year when H1N1 hit in 2009.

The governor has issued an executive order which allows pharmacists to administer flu vaccinations to patients between six months and 18 years of age. For the next 30 days, this order suspends the state education law that limits the authority of pharmacists to administer immunizations to only those 18 and older.

However, some pharmacies may not have the right certification to administer flu shots to kids. So it’s best to call ahead if you plan on having your child immunized.

The governor's office reports that 19,128 cases of influenza have been reported in New York this season -- far more than the 4,404 laboratory confirmed cases last year.

CLICK HERE for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s FluView – a weekly flu surveillance report.

NewsChannel 9 called around to some local pharmacies to see what their status was on administering the flu shot to those younger than 18. Below are the responses we received:

RITE AID:

Rite Aid is working to implement the governor's executive order. A representative told NewsChannel 9 that they’re working to update their protocols.

As of right now, Rite Aid pharmacists can vaccinate children aged 3-18 with a doctor’s prescription only.

As far as the availability of vaccine in their stores, it’s tight in some areas, and the situation is fluid so they ask that you please call ahead.

KINNEY DRUGS:

Kinney Drugs says all their pharmacists are trained to administer the flu shot to children and say they’ll vaccinate anyone weighting 33 pounds and up.

However, they say some stores are seeing a tight supply of the flu shot this year – some stores administered more than 80 shots on Monday alone – and suggest you call ahead to ensure they have the shot.

WEGMANS:

A representative with Wegmans told NewsChannel 9 they do not have the vaccine to vaccinate children.

WALGREEN’S:

A representative with Walgreen’s says its staff is trained to provide immunizations for adults and adolescents in all 50 states – age restrictions vary by state.

Walgreen’s pharmacists will vaccinate persons seven years of age and older.


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