With flu season underway, some local pharmacies are running short on vaccines.
While there’s not an overall shortage statewide, state epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger said that there may be some spot shortages in certain areas.
“Some pharmacies and clinics may be out, but there’s still vaccine available,” Kightlinger said. “If people go to their pharmacy and they say they’re out, they just have to go someplace else to get it. The state is not out; we have vaccine at our clinics.”
Local pharmacies that are currently out of vaccine include Lynn’s Dakotamart and Kmart. Shane’s Pharmacy in Fort Pierre has a few high-dosage vaccinations left for people 65 and older. Dakotamart has ordered more vaccine and is keeping a wait list of customers until it arrives.
Walgreens Pharmacy was also out of flu vaccine until they received surplus doses from Sioux City Thursday afternoon. Walgreens pharmacist Christie Gabel said that they received quite a few doses and should be able to accommodate anyone wanting a flu shot.
Local clinics such as Avera, Sanford and Urban Indian Health are also still offering flu shots.
Jamie Haefner, a registered nurse at Urban Indian Health, said that they received a shipment of 600 doses from North Dakota about a week before flu season picked up, so they still have many doses left.
Currently their clinic is also offering a ‘Food for Flu’ program, where people without insurance or money for a flu shot can donate three nonperishable food items as payment for a vaccination.
Urban Indian Health also has extended hours for giving flu vaccinations: Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Haefner recommends calling the clinic to schedule a vaccination, especially if you are a new patient.