Flu Shots Scarce Around Easton
Several pharmacies in the Easton area were out of flu shots Friday.
Looking to get a flu shot from a pharmacy this weekend? It might be easier said than done.
Four of the seven drug stores we talked to Friday afternoon had run out of the shots, at a time when flu cases -- including some fatal ones -- are on the rise.
So many people have the flu, in fact, that the Allentown Diocese on Friday announced that churchgoers would not be drinking from the chalice during communion, or shaking hands during the sign of peace. (Instead of a handshake, parishioners may bow or nod to their fellow worshipers.)
If you want to try to get a flu shot today, here's what you need to know:
- CVS Pharmacy in Forks Township and on the South Side of Easton -- Have the flu shot.
- Rite Aid at 25th Street -- Has the flu shot.
- Walgreens at 25th Street and William Penn Highway -- has the flu shot.
- Both Giant supermarket pharmacies have the shots as well.
- CVS in Wilson -- No flu shot as of Friday, but could have more today.
- Walgreens in Forks Township -- No flu shots Friday afternoon, but could have some Saturday or Monday.
- Rite Aid on Northampton Street -- No flu shots.
We advise all readers to contact their pharmacies. Some places who had the shots when we checked may have run out by the time you read this, while others that didn't have the shots may have gotten them.
If you think you may have the flu, here's a list of nearby locations that can help confirm it.
- Easton Hospital, Wilson Borough
- Northstar Urgent Care, Route 248, Lower Nazareth Township
- St. Luke's Anderson Campus, Bethlehem Township
- Easton Hospital wellness center, Sullivan Trail, Forks Township
The flu season was off to an early start in December and is now considered one of the worst outbreaks in years, according to the state Department of Health.
The good news is that it's not too late to get a flu shot, according to Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, chief of infectious diseases at St. Luke's University Health Network.
The outbreak has claimed more than 20 lives in Pennsylvania and a toddler in the Lehigh Valley and was also bad enough for Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Salisbury Township to open a separate emergency room Tuesday, Jan. 8 for patients experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Influenza—more commonly known as simply "the flu"—is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses infecting the nose, throat and lungs. It spreads via infected people coughing, sneezing or talking, though people can also get infected by touching something with the flu virus on it before touching their mouth, eyes or nose.
Symptoms of the flu include muscle or body aches, headache, cough, sore throat, fatigue, fever or chills, and vomiting and diarrhea (the latter two are more common in kids). The flu can also worsen chronic medical conditions or cause death.