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