Entering flu season amid the coronavirus pandemic

Local News

CLAY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — September kicks off an annual wave of flu shots. Even on September 1, people were waiting in line at the Wegmans pharmacy on Route 57 in Clay.

Pharmacy Manager Bill Wojnowicz says the CDC recommends they start giving flu shots in September and that you get yours before the end of October.

“Right now there’s a higher demand, obviously with things around COVID, so I think people are starting to get in a little bit earlier,” said Wojnowicz. “There’s no manufacturing issues but due to the higher demand I think the distribution will be a little bit slower.”

Some customers already getting their flu shot say a big part of it is the pandemic. With similar symptoms, they want to make sure they’re covered for at least one of the major viruses we’ll be dealing with come flu season.

Source: CDC.gov

Even if you do end up getting sick, the flu shot is designed to limit the severity of your case.

The rule of thumb: the vaccine protects you for about six months.

“Right now, I don’t think it’s too early. I think if you get it now it does take two weeks to gain immunity, consider yourself mid-September and you’re going to get coverage through the mid-March and most likely through the end of it as well,” said Wojnowicz.

Even if the flu season is mild, Wojnowicz says having people get the vaccine can help the healthcare system balance the annual flu season amid a pandemic.

“We want to reduce the burden on healthcare. We want to reduce hospitalization, we want to reduce respiratory illness in the community. If we want to keep our community safe and open, as they are now, this is something easy we can do to make sure we’re reducing that, the transmission of any respiratory illness,” he said.

Wegmans is offering a few different drive-thru flu shot clinics:

  • Dewitt Store – Sept. 19 10am-3pm
  • Taft Rd store – Sept. 20 10am -3pm

New York State Fairgrounds:

  • Seniors – Oct. 2 8am-12pm
  • Community – Oct. 3 11am-4pm

If you are attending one of the drive-thrus you will not need to make an appointment but you will need to bring a mask, ID, and your insurance card.

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