- CBSTV NY -
The swine flu vaccine is expected to be available in a few days.
The number of people seeking treatment for the flu is already at unprecedented levels for this time of year.
But you may find flu prevention where you least expect it.
Half of all Americans. Health officials are aiming to vaccinate 50 percent of us in order to reduce the chances of a pandemic from the H1N1 flu virus. So where can you get your flu vaccine?
"Large employers tend to provide, small companies do not. Doctors have, and pharmacies have it this year," said Greg David, editorial director at Crain's NY Business.
Pharmacies like Duane Reade, Rite Aid and CVS are all offering flu and other vaccines, enticing patients with the lure of no appointment and for as little as $30.
"Pharmacies don't make a ton of money off drugs they sell you. They have a ton of other stuff and that's where they make the money," David said.
CVS is going even further, handing out 100,000 free flu shots to anyone who's unemployed. New York City schools will all have free H1N1 vaccinations for kids and many counties are offering free flu vaccines as well.
And with pharmacies now weighing into the fray it has lots of patients asking questions. Is this the right place for me to come and get my vaccinations?
"I took my mom recently to the doctor he felt it was too early, that she should wait until next month," said Kelly Gibson of Millington, N.J. "So I like having my doctor's opinion."
"At least at my doctor's office they have gloves on and the office is sterile. I've seen my pharmacy and I barely like buying my drugs there, let alone anything else," another local resident said.
And one group being forced to roll up their sleeves is all 522,000 New York State health workers. By saying that "annual influenza vaccinations are mandatory," New York is the first state to demand immunizations for workers at hospitals, hospice and home health care agencies. It nearly doubles the current vaccination rate of just about half of healthcare workers.