Where to Get a Flu Shot in Parsippany
It's not too late to protect yourself and your family from influenza.
Haven't gotten your flu vaccine yet?
Flu season is upon us, and it's hitting New Jersey hard, and the arctic blast engulfing the area in single-digit temperatures is not helping.
According to the state health department, every county is reporting either "moderate" or "high" levels of influenza. And chances are, if you are out and about, people around you are suffering with sniffles, sneezing or stomach ailments.
The flu can be deadly. And it was deadly for a 12-year-old Bergen County girl who lost her life in early January, said Dawn Thomas, a state Health Department spokesperson.
So if you have not gotten the flu shot, the Centers for Disease Control recommend that you get to it. Flu season can go on until May, but it is not too late to get protected. And the sooner you are vaccinated, the sooner you'll get safely through the approximately two-week incubation period following the inoculation, after which the vaccine reaches full immunity.
Of course, not getting vaccinated does not guarantee you'll come down with the disease, just as having the shot doesn't mean you won't—but here’s why getting a flu vaccine just might be worth your while.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses infecting the nose, throat and lungs.
Symptoms include muscle or body aches, headaches, cough, sore throat, fatigue, fever or chills, and vomiting and diarrhea (the latter two are more common in kids). The flu can also worsen chronic medical conditions—and in some cases, it can be fatal.
Flu viruses can spread easily via infected people coughing, sneezing or even just talking. Folks are contagious a day before symptoms appear and up to a week after getting sick.
It’s also possible to get the flu by touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
Flu shots are an inactivated vaccine made from killed virus, which means it’s impossible to get the flu from the vaccine, explains Dr. Angela Rasmussen, Ph.D, an infectious disease expert.
There are currently three flu shots being produced in the U.S.: the regular (intramuscular) seasonal flu shot, a high-dose vaccine for people 65 and older, and an intradermal (injected into the skin) vaccine for people ages 18 to 64.
A nasal-spray flu vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses (which also do not cause the flu) is also available to healthy people ages 2 to 49 years old, except pregnant women. The most common side effect from a flu shot is soreness at the injection site.
Flu vaccine can be found at physicians' offices throughout town—call for an appointment.
You can also obtain immunizations at the following Parsippany retailers:
Greenhill Pharmacy, 164 Parsippany Road: The pharmacy confirmed that it offers influenza inoculations for $25, which is covered by most insurance companies. Appointments are not necessary, however, vaccinations are only available Monday and Tuesday until 3 p.m. The pharmacy recommends calling first at 973-887-9444 to ensure the vaccination is in stock.
Rite Aid, 480 N. Beverwyck Road: The vaccination costs $30 and is covered by many insurers including Medicare B. No appointment is necessary.
Walgreens, 200 Baldwin Road: The immunization runs $31.99 and is covered by many insurers including Medicare B. A wide range of vaccines are available as well, including for pneumonia, hepatitis and shingles, and walk-ins are accepted.
Pathmark, 1157 Route 46: The shot costs $24.99 and is covered by many insurance companies. No appointment is needed.
CVS Minute Clinic, 276 Main St., Denville: The pharmacy offers traditional, high-dose and intradermal flu shots. The cost starts at $31.99 and is covered by many insurers. Walk-ins are welcome.
Stop & Shop, 245 Littleton Road, Morris Plains: The grocery store welcomes people age 18 and over for flu vaccinations. The shot runs $25 and most insurance is accepted.
For more locations in and around Parsippany, use the Flu Shot Finder on the page.
Always call first to make sure vaccine is in stock before you make the trip.
Many employers and community organizations also offer flu shot clinics, and non-profit organizations and local governments may offer vouchers for free shots.
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine every year. Even if you don’t think you need a flu shot, consider that you can be a flu carrier without feeling sick and spread it to loved ones around you, says Jack Cantlin, a pharmacist and the divisional vice president of retail clinical services at Walgreens.
Those at greater risk for serious flu complications include people over the age of 65, young children, pregnant women and nursing home residents. People with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and chronic lung disease—and their caregivers—are also at risk.
“People at high risk should talk with their doctor about getting a high-dose flu shot, as this can provide better protection for people with immune systems that have been weakened by age or other medical conditions,” said Dr. Rasmussen.
She also recommended asking about the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination, because a pertussis infection coupled with the flu can cause more severe diseases, especially in young children. And, yes, we are seeing a rise in whooping cough cases this winter.
People with severe chicken egg allergies, a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome, and those who have had a severe reaction to a flu vaccine in the past should consult their doctor before getting a flu shot.
If you have a moderate or severe illness with a fever, wait until you've recovered to get the vaccination.
Check out local flu trends.