Scott Penner, Steinbach Pharmasave owner and pharmacist, is thankful for all the people who have stopped by Pharmasave after they just recently opened. 

“We have been open since August 31st and we're seeing new faces in the store every day and a lot of positive feedback.” 

Penner talks about this year’s flu shot and the COVID booster. He says that it’s okay to get the flu shot and COVID booster on the same day. 

About a year ago the medical community thought it might be better to space them out by a few weeks, but since then more data has come out and they found there is no reason to space them out. 

Penner says it’s convenient to get both shots at the same time. 

"The people are in the store. Let's just get it done and make it easier for everybody.” 

You can get both shots on the same day, but it’s not typically recommended to get them both in the same arm.  

It’s better to get one shot per arm since there is typically a little bit of pain or soreness the following day. This way, you can even out the pain between the two arms. 

“Very often we do recommend to do in alternate arms, and the COVID shot tends to hurt a little bit more and a little bit longer than the average flu shot, so we usually recommend that in your non-dominant arm.” 

The new bivalent booster shot for COVID covers two different strains of coronavirus: the original strain, and the new Omicron strains that are now more prevalent than the original. 

Penner also explains how they produce the flu shot. 

“We try to match the top four strains that were circulating in Asia almost a year ago, and it takes several months to isolate them, cultivate them, and produce them by the time they actually get to Steinbach.” 

Penner says they usually get the strains right and have a pretty good match, but they don’t always get it perfect, which is the reason you can still get the flu despite getting the flu shot. 

"We usually have a pretty good match, but as you know, some people will say, ‘well I got the flu shot and I still got the flu.’ It just so happened that that's just bad luck. We didn't get a good match that particular year.” 

He also believes there is a misconception that you can get the flu from taking the flu shot.  

“That is not possible. I've heard that many, many times. It is the inactivated part of the flu virus: the flu virus itself is not in the flu vaccines. All we're doing is building antibodies to the top four strains of the flu virus."

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