Boston Mayor Tom Menino's public health emergency announcement last Wednesday apparently sent residents scurrying to the Wayland Health Department and area pharmacies for flu shots.
The Wayland Health Department administered 65 vaccinations on Thursday during a rapidly organized "mini-clinic," Health Director Julia Junghanns said. That clinic exhausted the department's current supply, though more has been ordered and is expected by Jan. 28.
Health Department Assistant Patti White said she arrived at work Monday to only a handful of messages about flu shots, leading her to believe people had spent the weekend obtaining the shot elsewhere.
It seems that many of those people found the shot at CVS on Boston Post Road, which ran out of its flu shot supply on Saturday morning.
Pharmacy technician Sara Solis said CVS administered 80 flu shots Saturday morning, well more than on a typical Saturday. She said the pharmacy had ordered additional supplies, and expected those to arrive Thursday afternoon.
While CVS does accept appointments for the shots, Solis explained that the limited pharmacy staff must continue to provide other pharmacy services and asked that those coming for their shot be prepare for at least a short wait.
"Please be patient," Solis said.
Across town, the Rite Aid Pharmacy is also out of vaccines. Pharmacist Yelena Yalli said her pharmacy ran out Thursday night and began putting names on a waiting list.
RiteAid is expecting a small replacement shipment Tuesday afternoon and a larger shipment on Thursday. Yalli said they will contact the individuals on the waiting list first, but the vaccinations will be largely first-come, first-served as she expects many individuals on the list have since obtained the shot elsewhere.
Yalli advised that individuals seeking a shot call ahead for an appointment as it is difficult for pharmacy staff to keep up with walk-ins.
So far, Wayland schools haven't reported an outbreak in flu cases, Junghanns said, explaining that the Health Department doesn't receive specific numbers on cases in town unless the schools report an outbreak. She added that she had, however, observed a number of people throughout Wayland Town Building with various symptoms.
In addition to getting a vaccination, the Wayland Health Department recommends "frequent hand washing and/or use of hand sanitizer, coughing into your elbow rather than your hands, and staying home from work or school when sick," according to a press release.