Once again we are in the midst of the flu season and according to reports, it is already starting off with a bang with an Ohio death being reported. Having that kind of news thrown at you, and you are someone with multiple sclerosis (MS), you are going to sit up and pay attention.
Michael Pinna of Lima already went to one of the Walgreens in town saying, “I called them first because my wife had texted me that she’d heard news there were shortages. She didn’t want me to waste my time going after work if they weren’t going to have it.”
We are assured there aren’t shortages of the vaccine, but the demand has caused disruptions all across the States. It is suggested to call ahead to make sure, wherever we go, the vaccine is available at that time.
A quick call to Walgreens found only one of the stores having them in stock at this time. That is located at 701 North Cable Rd., with the others in town waiting for their orders to come in and the Rite-Aid at 1415 Bellefontaine Ave. also has it, but calls should be made to the other pharmacies before going in.
There are two different ways to receive the vaccine, injected or by nasal spray, but for those with MS, the live-virus FluMist® nasal spray is not recommended. Injectable flu vaccines are an inactivated vaccine, meaning the virus is grown in a culture and then destroyed. They can’t replicate whereas the reduced biological activity of the nasal spray shows a weakened disease state but it’s not completely inactivated.
The National MS Society has a page addressing that issue along with other pertinent vaccination information. They tell us how MS patients “who are experiencing a serious relapse that affects their ability to carry out activities of daily living should defer vaccination until 4-6 weeks after the onset of the relapse".
According to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) map, Ohio is showing an extremely high level of flu activity and there have also been reports that hospitals here in Ohio have been asking people to wear masks to “protect those who are not infected”.
Please visit The National MS Society link shown above and the CDC’s ‘Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs’ article for more information.
Listed below are the locations to Lima’s Walgreens and Rite-Aids:
- 701 North Cable Road (419) 222-9462
- St Rita's Medical Center West Market Street (419) 221-0166
- 2366 Harding Highway (419) 222-1600
- 302 West Robb Avenue (419) 229-5846
- 506 West Market Street (419) 222-7797
- 1415 Bellefontaine Avenue (419) 228-2296
Sources: http://dmnewsi.com/2013/01/09/hospitals-flooded-with-flu-patients-turning-others-away/; http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/01/flu-map.html News Desk; http://www.nationalmssociety.org; http://news.cincinnati.com/viewart/20130112/NEWS01/301120065/Flu-season-claims-first-Ohio-child; http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm