Our wonderful rep from Sun Surgical, Darryl Johnson, delivered our first round of influenza vaccines yesterday morning. The vaccine is a quadrivalent vaccine called Afluria. It is manufactured by Seqirus, the world’s largest cell-based flu vaccine and while it has manufacturing facilities all over the globe to produce and supply influenza immunizations, it also maintains a state-of-the-art facility in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Seqirus has the first-to-market vaccine.
You can get your vaccine at your local pharmacy, too. You don’t need a prescription. At Publix, you can get the flu shot and they’ll give you a $10 gift card (some restrictions apply). The vaccine cost for us is $15 a dose. Insurances reimburse us for that cost and add a small profit-margin when it is given during an office visit. And our priority is to vaccinate as many of our patients as possible.
We will be directing our over-65 patients to get their flu vaccines at their pharmacies because we are not stocking the high-dose Fluad vaccine. High-dose vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 65. The cost of that vaccine is four-times higher then standard Afluria. We only administered 65 high-dose vaccines last year and for the cost of those 65 high dose vaccines, we could have bought more standard. Population prevention of influenza is the purpose and focus of vaccination programs. The more people who get vaccinated, the better our town and prevent a horrible flu season. Instead, we ran out of standard vaccine and had a surplus of high dose vaccine, which meant a significant loss to the business.
On Tuesday Morning, Abigail Eley, APRN confirmed our first influenza case of the year. Which is very early! In my 23 year career here, the record for earliest influenza case documented in the office was in 2017 on Oct 4th by a man who had been at Disney World the prior weekend with his family. We have a new record holder for September 18th.