Over the weekend Governor Cuomo gave New York State pharmacists temporary permission to give flu shots to children aged six months to eighteen years old. Normally pharmacists can only give the vaccinations to adults. The plan is to get more children vaccinated, but the reality is that many pharmacies are not ready to vaccinate children - even with the New York's permission.
Several pharmacies including CVS and Wegmans say not all of their pharmacists and technicians are trained or certified to give vaccines to children. The governor's plan is also held back because many pharmacies don't carry the children's flu vaccine. Pharmacies normally are not allowed to offer it. Wegmans spokesperson Evelyn Carter said the store's pharmacy can currently only offer flu shots to adults aged nineteen or older.
"There is a different vaccine that would be associated with adults and those with children. So we currently don't have any vaccine for children. In addition to that, there are different processes that would be required to administer vaccines to children in that age range. So at this point, since we don't have the vaccine, we're not really making a decision on whether or not we're going to move forward from that perspective," said Carter.
Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Cynthia Morrow thinks the state should consider permanently allowing pharmacists to offer child flu shots
Flu shot supplies are tight here in Central New York but Dr. Morrow says we are not seeing the shortages like those in New York City. Flu shots for children are also available at many local doctor's offices.