Once the leaves turn, it's not only the start of a new Autumn season, but also a new influenza season.
It's hard to miss all the reminders at area doctors' offices and large drugstore chains to get up to date flu shots, but independent pharmacist Popat Patel, hopes the community won't forget that his family-owned New Rochelle Prescription Center, in business for more than 30 years, is able to serve up the flu vaccine with a personal touch.
Patel said his pharmacy has been offering the flu shot in their 551 Main St. store ever since laws changes about four or five years ago allowing them to do so. He sees big chain drugstores aggressively promoting their vaccination services but thinks New Rochelle Prescription Center offers a personal touch that makes a difference.
"At a doctor's office, you need an appointment and you might have a co-pay," said Patel. At his pharmacy, you can walk in and request a flu shot at your convenience.
As for the large chain stores, Patel offers competitive pricing. "Here we charge $25 and we can work with patients who cannot afford to pay," he said.
"Prevention is the major thing," Patel stressed for those who may think they are too busy or aren't suspectible to the virus. "In an office or workplace, if one person gets the flu, everyone gets the flu. It's worth it for an employer to make sure everyone has the flu shot."
You must be at least 19 years old to receive the vaccine at New Rochelle Prescription Center. Patel says his pharmacy also accepts Medicare Part B and Part D as well as many primary care and HMO insurance plans.
New Rochelle Prescription Center hours are Monday to Friday, 9a.m. - 6p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Sunday. Call them at 914-235-1120 for more information.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot every year. They especially recommend those at high risk for developing complications like pneunomia get the vaccination including: those with 'chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease;' pregnant women; anyone over 65; and anyone who lives with or provides care to someone in a high risk category.