Weston Pharmacies, Health Department Have Exhausted Flu Shot Supply

A rush at the end of last week exhausted area flu vaccine supplies.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino's public health emergency announcement last Wednesday apparently sent residents scurrying to the Weston Health Department and area pharmacies for flu shots.

The Weston Health Department had about 40 doses of the vaccine left at the time of Menino's announcement, according to Public Health Director Wendy Diotalevi. Those doses have since been administered.

Health Department Assistant Sharon Bonica said the department has applied to the state for additional vaccine, but she isn't confident that supply will arrive. She said that she expects the state's additional vaccine to be doled out primarily to doctors' offices.

The Weston Health Department, Bonica continued, does not have the funds to privately order additional vaccines. Even if it did, Bonica explained, those vaccines expire in June and the department would run the risk of wasting money on vaccinations that will not be needed.

It seems that many people seeking the vaccination turned to Walgreens in Weston Center, where pharmacy technician Noy Thanonekeo estimated they administered 10-times as many vaccinations last Friday as they do on a typical Friday. By Friday afternoon, their supply had been depleted.

Thanonekeo said the pharmacy has ordered more, but does not have an estimate for when those additional does will be available.

So far, Weston schools haven't reported an outbreak in flu cases, Bonica said, explaining that the Health Department doesn't receive specific numbers on cases in town unless the schools report an outbreak.

CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies in Wayland are also out of the vaccine, but do have estimates for when new supplies will arrive.

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