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COVID testing, vaccinations surging at local independent pharmacy

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) -- A pharmacist at an independent pharmacy says demand for COVID testing and vaccines is soaring.

"We have been bombarded," Sheila Walker of 3 Rivers Pharmacy said.

She says she's had to hire three new people to keep up with the demand for COVID testing and vaccinations.

She says lines usually are already formed before the pharmacy opens and that she typically has to stay an hour and a half after closing in order to see everyone.

"A lot of testing for COVID and a lot more young people, children, that are actually coming back positive. So that is very different than before," she said.

She also says she's administering double the number of covid vaccines that she used to give.

A pharmacist says she's had to hire three new people to keep up with the demand for COVID testing and vaccinations.

"My girlfriend, my mom, my dad, they just really, really want me to get it so I just decided to do it. Or some of them see somebody get sick, and they're like I just need to do this," Walker quoted patients as saying.

Zachery Shanyfelt's mom brought him in for a free COVID-19 test.

He's been ill for the past few days, and is concerned he won't be able to go back to school and see his friends.

"I had a sore throat, runny nose, got a headache every now and then. It was mainly yesterday. You look pretty miserable. You feel miserable? Yeah," Zachery said.

His mom is concerned about any possible long-term effects of the virus and that her family may end up in the hospital.

"I'm grateful to know that we've all been vaccinated, that the effects should be lessened for us since we have been vaccinated. So that puts me a little bit more at ease but you still worry because I have underlying conditions that make me a little more susceptible to having to be hospitalized or something like that. So, oh boy!" Jessica Shanyfelt explained.

Zachery is getting the rapid antigen test which provides results in five to ten minutes but the pharmacy also uses the PCR test which is sent to a lab to get results in 24 to 48 hours.

Walker says she sees positive patients every day, some with no symptoms, others who exhibit runny noses, bad coughs, a stomach virus, and even trouble breathing.

She says she refers those patients to the emergency room with a stern warning that their symptoms can drastically turn within 12 hours.

Zachery and his mom will be back in 48 hours for another COVID test, to make sure the negative result he got Tuesday doesn't turn into a positive result further into the virus's incubation period.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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