Tag Archives: influenza

Got My 2014 – 2015 Flu Shot, Trivalent IIV From Novartis At The Alton, N.H., Hannaford Pharmacy By Senate Hopeful Richard Leonard.

flueshotAnura Guruge, June 8, 2013.


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by Anura Guruge


HannafordlogoRelated posts:
>> 2013 flu shot from Hanaford
>> Nov. 26, 2013.
>> 2012 flu shot, at Hannaford

>>Sep. 29, 2012.
>> Free flu shots for NH kids
>> — Oct. 15, 2013.


I got my flu shot, for this winter, on Saturday, October 18, 2014, at the Hannaford Pharmacy. It was a spur of the moment decision, pretty typical of me. Yes, I was going to get a flu shot this year, as I had for the last 3 years, but I hadn’t really thought about when I would get it. Saturday afternoon around 3pm I was at Hannaford with Devanee. I just picked her up after she got back to school from a NH State cross-country meet. We needed some odds and ends. Our friend Richard Leonard, of ‘Miller Farms‘ and hopefully soon a NH Senator, was on duty. They, for a change, were not mobbed. I did need to talk to Richard. Plus we needed a couple of his “Elect Richard Leonard” signs for our yard to keep the Ray Howard signs company. While talking to Richard it occurred to me that I might as well get my flu shot and get it over with.

Richard, as ever, always trying to be helpful, was happy to oblige.norvatis11

For the 3rd time in a row I got my flu shot at Hannafords, in Alton — for the 2nd time Richard Leonard. It really was painless on all fronts.

The last two years I had to pay because I had the stupid, NH Health Plan. This year Anthem, to their credit, paid for it all. Zero cost to me. I am impressed. I have started to have a grudging respect for Anthem. I might even stay with them in 2015.

Getting ‘the shot’ is a BIG change of heart for me. Prior to 2011 I refused to get the shot and have the kids get it. But then in November 2010 I nearly died though much of that had to do with some cavalier treatment I got from Dartmouth-Hitchcock (Concord). [Ironically this afternoon I helped Deanna file a formal complaint about them, to the NH Board of Medicine, about them. I also JUST found that THOUGH they call themselves Dartmouth-Hitchcock they are not really that affiliated with the mothership in Lebanon! Some deception going on here. But that is another story, another post down the road.] I, at the urging of many, a few of them doctors, agreed to get the flu shot after that — plus i am getting up there.

As with last year what I was inoculated with was the Trivalent IIV vaccine. Today I went looking to see what it was all about. See below [click to ENLARGE. From the CDC.] Fingers crossed. Hope this post helps.

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I Got My 2014 Flu Shot, ‘Flulaval’ (a.k.a. ‘Trivalent IIV) At The Alton, N.H., Hannaford Pharmacy, Yesterday.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Hannafordlogo

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> 2012 flu shot, at Hannaford —

>>Sep. 29, 2012.
>> Free flu shots for NH kids
>> — Oct. 15, 2013.


flushothereThree years ago, Thanksgiving Day, I nearly died because of the cavalier mistreatment I had received from Dartmouth Hitchcock (Concord) a few days earlier. I chronicled that sad story here. I was coughing so much I broke a rib! Since then I have been grudgingly getting the flu vaccine — especially now that I am considered old and decrepit. I am not a great believer in vaccinations. That I was used as a ‘brown’ guinea pig for testing out the oral polio vaccine in the 1950s, without us being told that we were the guinea pigs, sometimes riles me up. Luckily the vaccine was good and all of us in Ceylon lucked out. Read here.

So yesterday morning I woke up and realized that Thanksgiving was this week! I hadn’t had THE SHOT. I decided then and there that I was going to get the shot — that day itself.

Both Deanna and I got our flu shots, last year, at Hannaford Alton. It was ultra convenient and quite slick.

So at 2pm yesterday we trotted down to Hannaford’s — a place that I seem to visit 4 times a week! 2:00 to 2:30 pm is the pharmacist’s lunch break — but that was no big deal since we had to fill in the 3 pages of paperwork. Deanna might already have the flu. So they wouldn’t give to her. I claimed to be totally healthy, which is a JOKE since ‘good health’ is not in my genes. I just muddle through.

Our friend, Richard Leonard was the pharmacist on duty. That was a bonus. We, obviously, like Richard — and his delightful ‘Miller Farm’. Richard, as ever, did a great job. Injections don’t bother me. Neither does giving blood. So I don’t even flinch. It really was painless.

I was fine afterwards. So, I am glad.

According to Richard it will take 10 days for the vaccine to kick-in (if it does). Bummer.



According to the paperwork what I was injected was Glaxo Smith 0.5 Flulaval 2,013-14 INJ — also listed on another sheet as Influenza: Trivalent IIV.

I do NOT trust Glaxo Smith or for that matter pharmacies in general — though I do respect and trust individual pharmacists like Richard or the very nice guy who used to be at Walmart Gilford.

As far as I know, that little vial could have contained nothing other than sugar water!

Yes, I am a cynic.

My bloody insurance company, the blood sucking scam artists, New Hampshire Health Plan, YET AGAIN refused to pay for the shot — though I had called them up 20 minutes earlier and they confirmed that the flue shot would be covered 100%. That is par for the course for those crooks. They have NEVER paid a cent for anything in the 3 or 4 years I have had coverage with them @ ~$560/month! They have an excuse for everything.

My only consolation was that sitting on the front seat of the van, waiting to be mailed, CERTIFIED, was an ADDITIONAL CANCELLATION notice for these rogues, telling them NOT to extend my coverage into 2014 — now that they told me that they will cancel me at the end of 2013. This insurance was such a joke that I would rather go without BUT Deanna insists that I carry some insurance because I am old and frail.

I can’t wait for this bloody policy to expire. But, I am also quite certain that they will FRAUDULENTLY try to direct-debit $570 from my Fidelity account on January 2, 2104 despite my certified letter.

Hannaford, to their credit, only charged me $20. Thank YOU, Hannaford.

I am not going to bother trying to get this $20 back from those bastards. Waste of my time and postage.

IF I only got sugar water … $20 was probably still OK.

We Got Our Flu Shots at the Hannaford, Alton pharmacy


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Click image to read article from ‘Fox News Latino’.


Deanna, Devanee and I got our 2012 – 2013 ‘flu shot’, influenza vaccination, at the Hannaford, Alton pharmacy. It, in all aspects, was ‘painless’ — though Devanee, as ever, complained (but did not scream as she is sometimes wont to do when getting a shot or having blood drawn).

It is the first time we have had a flu shot from a pharmacy, as opposed to a hospital. In terms of convenience and price, you can’t beat it. No lines and a minimum of waiting. Yes, there was a fair amount of paperwork to be done. But, overall it was quick. Basically, in and out.

The pharmacist who administered the injections was very nice. We had never seen her before. The Alton Hannaford pharmacy currently does not have a permanent pharmacist. For 2 years or more we had two really decent men, who we got to know quite well. We are supposed to be getting a new one within the month. Till then the pharmacy is served by floaters.

This pharmacist, very openly, admitted, even without us asking, that giving injections is not something she had expected to do when she was studying to be a pharmacist. It is very apparent that she was not taught to give injections at ‘school’. She had an interesting, but effective, technique. She didn’t inject per se; she jabbed, handling the syringe as if it were a dart. You could tell she has practiced on poor oranges. Told me that I am thin-skinned. Wow.

Though I am very happy to have got the shots, with the minimum of fuss, the whole process bothers me. First of all, I feel bad for the pharmacists! I have to assume that they don’t really have a choice in this matter — other than trying to find a job with somebody else. They should not be expected to give shots. That is not what they trained for. I wonder if Hannaford has any pharmacists who have refused to give shots. They should have a choice in this matter.

I checked the pharmacist, as I am wont to do with most professionals, on her knowledge on the subject, and she got it wrong. I asked her if this was a NEW vaccine for ‘this year’ and she glibly responded: ‘we get a new vaccine every year because the flu strains are different’. Wrong! There was no new vaccine last year. They used the same one as they had used the year before. How do I know; I checked with the CDC. Why did I do that; because Walmart started offering flu vaccine in early September (maybe even August) and I couldn’t fathom how they could have come up with a formula that early.

Yes, there is supposed to be a NEW vaccine, with protection against two new strains added, for 2012 – 2013. Not sure whether we got that. As far I know she could have injected water from the tap! Yes, I am a cynic. Yes, I saw her extract fluid from a small vial, but who knows. The drug company could be shipping duds. Yes, I am very cynical.

I have never been a fan of flu shots until of late. This is just the 3rd flu shot I have had. I am genetically prone to bronchitis. For the last 30 years, once in Spring and then in the fall, I get a real bad case of bronchitis. I would always end up having to take antibiotics, sometimes multiple courses. So I was finally persuaded to get the flu shot, especially as I get closer and closer to 60. The first year we happened to be at Dartmouth Hitchcock in Lebanon when they were having a free flu clinic. That was ultra convenient and the price was right. Last year we also got it from DHMC, but at Concord; our ‘Primaries’ being there. We didn’t make a special appointment or go to a scheduled clinic. Deanna had an appointment with her Primary and she asked for a shot while she was in there. I asked whether I could get one too, and since my Primary is also there it proved not to be an issue. They charged our insurance.

Hannaford yesterday told me that my shot was not covered by my insurance. They were wrong on that too. I called up my insurance, the NH State ‘NH Plan’, and they said I was 100% covered outside of my deductible. They claim that Hannaford most likely billed it wrong. So I now have to submit a claim. But, overall in terms of convenience and cost ($25) it was a good deal. By the way, I did call Huggins. They told me to try a pharmacy.

I have mixed feelings about vaccinations. Though I was a child growing up, 50 years ago, in a poor 3rd world country, I was lucky enough to get vaccinations against most things. Chicken pox vaccination was before my time and I got chicken pox when I was in my 40s. I never knew until much later what that could have done for me. Luckily I came out of that alive and with everything working. I have never had a tetanus shot, and as good, enlightened doctors will now point out … there is not much point getting one. That I haven’t got tetanus after all the cuts I have had indicates that my body has built up resistance on its own. A few years ago I worked out that c. 1960 I was one of the folks that received the then brand new ‘sugar cube’ polio vaccination as part of the patient trial process. Yes, they tested it out on brown kids in Ceylon. My uncle, who was a doctor, had a hand in arranging for this ‘free’ nationwide vaccination program, but since he is dead I have no way of finding out if he knew that this was a trial. All of us kids in Ceylon, including his then 3 sons, took it — by mouth. It was a big deal. Lots of media coverage. Lots of political publicity. We were told to wear our best to school for the occasion. We lined up. They put the sugar cubes in our mouth, a bit like the Eucharist. We survived and polio never really got a foothold in Ceylon. I have seen more people, in general, with polio in this country than I have in Ceylon. Some are my age. They did not get vaccinated. It was still being tried out on us. Funny how the cookie crumbles.



National immunization programs in Ceylon. Click if you want to read an article.