Ellie White-Stevens and her husband Matt White in the Bahamas, just days before she was diagnosed with the flu. Ellie knows she should have gotten a flu shot at The Pharmacy Place, like her kids did, who didn’t get sick.


By J. Frank Lynch

Last year at The Pharmacy Place Flu Clinic, Ellie White-Stevens made sure that her sons got their flu shots. But she had an event that evening, and she didn’t want to risk a sore arm and a band-aid with her evening gown. So she skipped it.

“Big mistake,” she said. “A few months later we took a big family cruise, and halfway into it, I got a little respiratory bug. I thought it was my asthma. But I kept feeling worse and worse. At the end of a day that included ziplining, I was really struggling to breathe.”

Ellie went to the ship’s infirmary, and she saw an after-hours doctor. They gave her a flu test. It was Flu A. She got Tamiflu, a breathing treatment, and they quarantined her to her cabin for the last two days of the cruise.

“I’ve been kicking myself that I didn’t get that flu shot. My boys who got theirs at The Pharmacy Place even drank from my water bottle the day I got sick, and they didn’t get the flu.”

The Pharmacy Place owner and pharmacist Hiren Patel does a flu clinic each year. “We combine the flu clinic and the customer appreciation event to show that we care about our patients. Obviously, we give the flu vaccine during all open business hours, but this is a fun event to bring the kids, have the food, get the shots and be all done on a Saturday.”

Hiren wants his patients to know the truth about a common misconception, “The flu vaccine protects against the influence of the virus, and it cannot cause the flu, because it’s made from a weakened virus. The best way to help protect against the flu is the vaccine.”

“After you get the flu vaccine, it takes two weeks to fully develop the antibodies to protect against the flu. So some people may feel like they’re getting sick from the vaccine. They were likely in contact with the virus before they got the vaccine—or in the two weeks after they got it,” he explained.

“Vaccinated adults are 59% less likely to be hospitalized or admitted to the ICU, if they do get the flu,” said Hiren, citing Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics.

Also, according to the CDC, the flu vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness by 40-60% during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine.

“We know that the flu vaccine reduces the likelihood that kids, particularly, will have to be hospitalized for flu—by 74% according to the CDC,” says Hiren.  “We can do flu shots for anyone over the age of 13, and they’re covered by most insurances.” He’s looking to prevent the flu and all of its after-effects for his patients.  The CDC estimates that the flu vaccine prevented 85,000 flu-related hospitalizations.

Ellie agrees that flu has a ripple effect, “It wasn’t just the cruise, I had a fever for days. I had to cancel client meetings for a week afterwards to make sure I didn’t infect anyone else. I even had to miss an important couples shower I’d been planning for a friend for months. The flu was avoidable for me, and by skipping a shot that would have taken less than 5 minutes, I lost more than a week of my life.”

“It really is so easy to get a flu shot. We accept all insurances, and have the same co-pays as the big box stores,” said Hiren.

“I’m glad that I shop at The Pharmacy Place,” said Ellie. “Besides flu shots, they really do have the best customer service. Their people are all so friendly, and they are very good about making sure I never run out of my prescriptions.”

Hiren wants people to know that if they get the flu, they can find all the common antiviral prescription medications in stock, as well as common cough and fever medications to reduce the symptoms.

As a full-service pharmacy, The Pharmacy Place offers the full range of prescriptions, as well as custom compounds. The Pharmacy Place also offers free local delivery.

The Pharmacy Place

WHERE: 2005 Commerce Dr. N, Peachtree City

HOURS: Mon-Fri, 9-7; Sat, 10-2

PHONE: 678-271-3970

ONLINE: thepharmacyplace.com

The Pharmacy Place Flu Clinic and Customer Appreciation Event

Saturday, October 5

10 a.m. -2 p.m.

Inflatables for the Kids

Food from the BeiRut starts at 11!

And Flu Shots!