Updated 01/13/2013 10:22 AM
Governor issues public health emergency
If you haven't caught the flu yet, surely someone you know has. Thousands statewide have been affected by the virus, sparking Governor Andrew Cuomo to take action. YNN's Maria Valvanis has more on how the Governor is making sure all, and especially, our children, are protected.
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NEW YORK STATE -- Pharmacist John McDonald said, “The governor's using his authority because there is a pending health crisis. Traditionally, pharmacists are not able to administer any flu vaccinations to a person 18 years of age or younger.”
But for the next 30 days, all bets are off. Meaning if you're six-months-old or older, you can now get your flu shot at any pharmacy in the state that offers them.
“It's the access, because a lot of people have trouble getting to the pediatrician or they're coming into get their own flu shots and saying oh my kid wants one too, but it's hard because we have to say no,” said pharmacist Jessica Schoen.
Now after an already busy season administering to adults, pharmacists across the state are scrambling to get the proper vaccines to be able to administer now to kids and teens.
“Some of the flu vaccines are only appropriate for certain age groups,” said McDonald.
Schoen said, “We've never been able to do pediatric patients before, so we don't have a supply for pediatric patients, so at the main office they've been getting all the supply they can.”
And as flu numbers continue to rise, the Governor is urging everyone to follow his lead by getting a flu shot. Cases have been reported in all 57 counties as well as all five boroughs of NYC.
“This is the time of the year, that if you haven't gotten a flu shot yet, now is the time to do it,” said McDonald.
New Yorkers can find a local vaccine provider by visiting flushot.healthmap.org and entering their zip code. New Yorkers without internet access can call 1-800-522-5006 or through TTY access at 1-800-655-1789 to find a nearby provider.