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Flu Vaccines Few, Far Between in Long Valley

Three area pharmacies expecting new shipments of vaccines this week.

Deaths caused by influenza in 2013 reached epidemic levels late last week, according to a report in the New York Times, but the government-run Center for Disease Control (CDC) says it may have peaked.

Either way, the organization says those who have yet to receive a flu shot should still do so, as the current outbreak continues to work its way through the country. The height of flu season is February, according to the CDC.

While the CDC says this season's flu vaccine is anywhere between 50 and 70-percent effective, the inoculation is hard to come by in the Long Valley area.

Employees at Long Valley Pharmacy said it won't get its next shipment of the vaccine in until late Wednesday, and will be available for residents early Thursday. Vaccines are available on a first come, first-served basis, and cost $25 without insurance. Employees said the pharmacy has received an escalated number of calls and customers this season.

In Califon, the Rite Aid on Rt. 513 said it expects a new shipment of vaccines on Tuesday. That shipment should have 100 doses, the pharmacy said, but the store already has 50 customers on a waiting list.

Cost at the Rite Aid is $29.99 without insurance, and is only available to customers 18 years and older.

Just over the Washington Township border in Hackettstown, pharmacist Angie Shorette of Walgreens said the demand has become greater than the supply–one that is already limited.

Shorette said the pharmacy was expecting a new shipment of vaccines to arrive Monday afternoon, but it would be a limited number, likely around 20 doses. Cost at Walgreens for the vaccine is $31.99 without insurance.

The current strand of influenza ravaging the nation has claimed the lives of 20 children, the New York Times reported. In a typical year, the report said, just 37-percent of Americans receive the inoculation.

Long Valley Pharmacy is located at 67 East Mill Road in Long Valley. Call for more information at 908-876-9000.

Califon Rite Aid is located at 428 County Road 513 in Califon. Call for more information at 908-832-7117.

Hackettstown Walgreens is located at 1982 Route 57 in Hackettstown. Call for more information at 908-850-3529.

Tips on how to stay healthy and potentially prevent being infected by the flu, go here.

Kimberly Prendergast Wohlgemuth January 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM
I work at Rite Aid in Califon as a pharmacy technician - we got a call late last evening that the shipment we were to get in today has been delayed and it will be coming on Wed afternoon instead.
Jason Koestenblatt (Editor) January 15, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Thanks so much for letting us know, Kim!
Hookerman January 15, 2013 at 01:35 PM
There's also the Hackettstown Rite Aid; (908) 852-2223. Don't know if they have the vaccine, but it's one more place to ty.
Kadri Aygen, MD January 15, 2013 at 07:13 PM
We have a limited number of flu shots at Advocare Aygen Pediatrics And Adult Care. Cost is $30. 908 879-4300
Jason Koestenblatt (Editor) January 15, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Thanks Hookerman and Dr. Aygen for the comments and information!
lindamkee January 15, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Never got the flu shot, never got the flu! The shot is not good for you, contains mercury, and other chemicals that cause more harm than the flu.
Jason Koestenblatt (Editor) January 16, 2013 at 04:39 PM
Thanks for the comments, everyone. @Not Domino - Thanks for the idea, and we've decided to use it. Everyone can vote and put their comments on this new post: http://patch.com/A-1hYj

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