Welp, Safeway wins the Shingrix vaccine competition by a mile.
Earlier this week I went by Walgreen’s to see if they had the shingles vaccine, which is famously in short supply. They said they did. I mentioned that I’d put my name on a list to be called when the vaccine came available again and never heard from them. She checked her list and found (surprise!) I wasn’t on it.
However, having heard that this stuff can make you mightily sick and facing a sh!tload of work that couldn’t be put off, I asked if they had enough that I could come in Sunday (today) to grab the first shot. She said sure, and put my name on her list.
Today after church I darted down there, as planned, to subject myself to the vaunted shot. By now I’ve heard so many reports of side effects ranging from unpleasant to awful by way of painful, I was mightily dreading this encounter.
Was my name on the list, asked she? “They told me to come down here this afternoon.” She checks the list: nope.
“Well, I can have one available about 1:00 this afternoon.” This, after I’ve stood in line behind some woman for a good 15 minutes while the clerk diddled around and diddled around and diddled around and diddled around.
What time is it now? Around 12:30. What, I wonder, does she think I’m going to do with myself, hanging around a Walgreen’s for half an hour or forty minutes? I say I’ll come back another time . (Maybe in some future lifetime...)
Get in the car and drive across the street to the Safeway, cattycorner across the intersection from the Walgreen’s. March through mobs of customers (is there a reason the Walgreen’s is almost empty? hmmm?), bounce up to the pharmacy counter and ask if they have any Shingrix shots available.
“Sure enough! Come on over to the cash register and I’ll ring you up.”
In under 10 minutes, I had the shot and was out the door and back in my car. Also had a 10% off coupon for my next grocery shopping expedition.
So. That will bring a permanent end to my getting flu shots — or much of anything else — at Walgreen’s!
Little drawback, though: They charged a $160 copay!!!!!!!
That, of course, is ridiculous. Tomorrow I’ll probably call Humana to ask WTF. But on the other hand, Humana’s Part D plan is so economical that they’ve saved me far, far more than that in premiums over the several years since I signed up. So I don’t feel too exercised. Plus any day I’d cheerfully pony up $160 to avoid the shingles!
As for the horrors of the Shingrix vaccine? So far, nothing like the tales we’ve been told. The pharmacist said most people experience some mild arm soreness and a few enjoy flu-like symptoms, which pass quickly. Me? No pain so far. Slight vertigo and mild headache — which I’ve experienced in the past with ordinary flu shots and are hardly debilitating. And very possibly attributable to stress, since I’ve been flopping around trying to figure out how to fit two to five days of being sick into a very busy schedule.
I wonder if they’ll gouge me another $160 for the second shot…