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Archive for September, 2023

More Info on the Updated COVID-19 Vaccine. By Our Student Pharmacist, Jadelyn Cheng.

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In the season of flu and RSV, it’s time to start thinking about getting your updated COVID-19 vaccine.

You may have encountered the term “booster” in the past few months for the COVID vaccine. However, major health organizations are moving away from that term in efforts to emphasize that this is an “updated COVID vaccine.”

Just like we receive an updated flu vaccine every year to guard against the most common influenza strain, it’s likely that we will eventually move towards a schedule where people can anticipate receiving an updated COVID-19 vaccine annually to safeguard against the most common COVID strain of that year.

Updates + Efficacy

The 2023-2024 formulation of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are based on an omicron subvariant, XBB.1.5. They are still effective against the variants that are causing a majority of COVID cases in the United States at this time, which includes emerging strains such as EG.5 (Eris), FL.1.5.1 (Fornax), and BA.2.86 (Pirola).

Vaccination continues to be the safest and most effective way to achieve protection against current variants.


If you’ve received the COVID vaccine before: Everyone aged 5 and older should get one updated COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after getting the last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine. However, in special circumstances, someone is eligible for additional updated doses.

If you’ve never received any COVID vaccine before: The same guidelines still apply! You are considered up to date on your vaccinations after receiving one dose of the updated ’23-’24 vaccine. If you have recently had COVID, you may have some protection against severe disease and reinfection. However, getting the updated COVID-19 vaccine is still recommended three to six months after experiencing symptoms or testing positive.

If you are considering other vaccines at this time: The flu shot and COVID vaccines are entirely safe to receive at the same time. As for RSV, studies are ongoing since this is the first season with the RSV vaccine. However, it is still believed that you can receive the RSV and COVID-19 vaccines together. They can be given two weeks apart if you prefer to receive only one vaccine at a time.

View official recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html 


COVID-19 vaccines were free for all Americans during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, which officially ended on May 11th, 2023. However, since vaccination is the most effective protection against severe disease, the updated COVID-19 vaccine should be covered under most private insurance and Medicare.

The CDC’s Bridge Access Program provides no-cost COVID-19 vaccines for uninsured or underinsured.

Visit http://www.vaccines.gov/ to find providers that offer these services. 

At Plain City Druggist and all three Happy Druggist locations, we will administer Moderna’s Spikevax (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) (2023-2024 Formula) to anyone 12 years and older. Walk-ins are always welcome!


CDC (2023). Use of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid-19-vaccines-us.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fvaccines%2Fcovid-19%2Finfo-by-product%2Fclinical-considerations.html

Rosen, A (2023). What to Know About the Updated COVID-19 Vaccine for Fall/Winter 2023. Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health. https://publichealth.jhu.edu/2023/what-to-know-about-the-updated-covid-19-vaccine-for-fall/winter-2023



How to Keep Your Heart Healthy During National Cholesterol Education Month. By Our Student Pharmacist, Jadelyn Cheng.

September is National Cholesterol Education Month, with World Heart Day on September 29. It’s a perfect time to think about heart health and revisit how cholesterol plays a critical role.

Even if you do not have high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), everyone must lead a heart-healthy lifestyle!

Cholesterol: Broken Down

  • HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein)- Also known as ‘good’ cholesterol, HDL absorbs cholesterol in the blood and carries it to the liver to be flushed out of the body. High levels of HDL can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein)- Also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol, LDL makes up most of your body’s cholesterol. However, high levels of LDL can result in a fatty build-up (plaque) that raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Triglycerides – Triglycerides are the most common fat in your body, storing excess energy from your diet. High triglyceride levels, in combination with high LDL and/or low HDL levels, can result in heart disease and stroke.

Cholesterol Tests: Everyone gets them!

A cholesterol screening is a simple blood test. Prior to the test, you may be asked to fast (not eat or drink) 8 to 12 hours beforehand. However, always check with your doctor for their recommendations.

  • Most healthy adults should get their cholesterol checked every 4 to 6 years.
    • However, those with heart disease, diabetes, or a family history of high cholesterol may need to get their cholesterol checked more frequently (~once a year).
  • Children and adolescents should get their cholesterol checked once between the ages of 9 to 11 and once again between the ages of 17 to 21.
    • However, children with obesity or diabetes may need to get their cholesterol checked more frequently (~once a year).

Your Next Steps

Checking in with your doctor annually ensures you get the care you need! But here are some things you can do to protect your heart health.

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Leading a heart-healthy lifestyle involves:

  • knowing your risk,
  • making healthy choices
  • taking steps to reduce your risk for heart disease

Take some time this month to try these preventative measures which can ultimately help your overall health and well-being.


AHA (2020). HDL (Good), LDL (Bad) Cholesterol and Triglycerides. American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/hdl-good-ldl-bad-cholesterol-and-triglycerides

CDC (2023). LDL and HDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/ldl_hdl.htm

CDC (2023). Get a Cholesterol Test. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/cholesterol_screening.htm


  1. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/the-ten-ways-to-improve-your-heart-health

Narcan Will Soon Be Over-the-Counter. Here is What You Need to Know. By Our Student Pharmacist, Jadelyn Cheng.

In the upcoming weeks, Narcan (naloxone 4 mg) nasal spray will hit the shelves of many grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations for purchase directly over-the-counter without needing a prescription.

To help you understand this rescue drug better, we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions and their answers.

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What is Narcan? Is it different from naloxone?

Narcan is a brand name for a nasal spray that contains naloxone as its active ingredient. It is a lifesaving medication used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist, which means it binds to the same receptors opioids bind to in the brain, blocking the opioids and reversing their effects. It can rapidly restore consciousness in someone who has overdosed on an opioid.

Currently, Narcan is the only version of the naloxone nasal spray that is over-the-counter. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved a second over-the-counter naloxone nasal spray called ReVive. People can expect this alternative to be more broadly available at a lower cost in 2024.

Why should I carry Narcan?

Opioid overdoses can happen anywhere, anytime, and to anyone. Keeping Narcan in your emergency kit or carrying it on the go can save lives. 

Can Narcan be used for all types of opioids?

Yes! Narcan is effective for reversing prescription painkillers prescribed for chronic pain, injuries, and surgeries, as well as opioids commonly found in illicit or street drug use.

Common opioids include:

  • morphine
  • codeine
  • OxyContin (oxycodone)
  • Vicodin (hydrocodone)
  • tramadol
  • buprenorphine
  • heroin
  • fentanyl

Who can be given Narcan?

Narcan is safe to be administered to anyone of all ages, from infants to teens to older adults. This can be especially useful for children and teens who unintentionally ingest a prescription opioid.

What are the signs and symptoms of an overdose?

Here are the signs and symptoms to look out for: Graphic 2

Act fast! If someone displays symptoms or you suspect an overdose, use Narcan.

How do I use Narcan? What do I do after?

If you suspect an overdose, act quickly. Look for signs like difficulty breathing or unresponsiveness. If the person does not respond to gentle shaking, follow the steps: LAY – SPRAY – STAY.

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You cannot overdose on Narcan, so it is safe to continue administering new doses every 2-3 minutes until emergency services arrive.

Can I give myself Narcan?

You cannot administer Narcan to yourself. This is why your friends and family must know that you carry Narcan, where you store it, and how to use it.

Can I use Narcan if I’m unsure someone is experiencing an overdose?

Narcan has no effect if opioids are absent in a person’s body. If it is given to someone who is not overdosing on an opioid, it will not harm them.

Are there any side effects or risks associated with Narcan?

After using Narcan, some people may experience side effects such as shaking, sweating, nausea, or irritability. This is commonly referred to as acute withdrawal syndrome.

Where can I buy Narcan?

The current retail price of Narcan is approximately $44.99. The manufacturer of Narcan currently has a search tool to find Narcan online or at a store near you: https://narcan.com/buy 

Can I get Narcan for free or at a reduced cost?

NaloxoneOhio is an initiative to provide Ohioans with a database of providers and sites that offer free Narcan. Access that here: https://naloxone.ohio.gov/get-naloxone/individual

For More Information, Visit:

CDC. (2020). Save a Life from Prescription Opioid Overdose. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. https://www.cdc.gov/rxawareness/prevent/index.html


Bennett, A. S., Freeman, R., Des Jarlais, D. C., & Aronson, I. D. (2020). Reasons People Who Use Opioids Do Not Accept or Carry No-Cost Naloxone: Qualitative Interview Study. JMIR formative research, 4(12), e22411.https://doi.org/10.2196/22411

Carpenter, J., Murray, B. P., Atti, S., Moran, T. P., Yancey, A., & Morgan, B. (2020). Naloxone Dosing After Opioid Overdose in the Era of Illicitly Manufactured Fentanyl. Journal of medical toxicology : official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology, 16(1), 41–48. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13181-019-00735-w


  1. https://narcan.com/
  2. https://narcan.com/opioid-education
  3. https://narcan.com/resources

Please Welcome Our OSU College of Pharmacy Student Pharmacist for September, Jadelyn Cheng.


This month, we are joined at Plain City Druggist by Jadelyn Cheng a fourth-year pharmacy student from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy.

Jadelyn will graduate in May 2024 with her PharmD degree and will then take the test to become a registered pharmacist. Jadelyn will be with Tayler and the gang here in Plain City throughout September, so please stop by and meet her while she is here.

Here is what Jadelyn tells us about herself:

Hello there! I’m Jadelyn Cheng, and I’m thrilled to be joining Plain City Druggist this month. I’m currently a fourth-year student pharmacist at The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy, where I have served as class president for all four years.

Math and science have always been my forte. I attended a STEM high school and a bioscience technologies program, honing my skills in engineering and research. Initially, I had aspirations of pursuing drug discovery and development. However, I soon realized that my passion for medications was more patient-centered and decided early on in high school to pursue pharmacy school instead.

I completed my BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Ohio State in 2020 and started pharmacy school that same year. I have diverse interests in pharmacy, but all stem from my love for pharmacy education. My experience primarily lies in community pharmacy, having worked for Kroger Pharmacy for six years. I enjoy building relationships with patients and earning their trust to provide recommendations.

Furthermore, I’m passionate about academia. I’ve taught undergrad and first-year pharmacy students and would love to continue teaching the next generation of pharmacy students. My immediate plans involve applying for industry fellowships to utilize marketing, research, and informatics to create information accessible to all.

Outside of the pharmacy world, I’m an avid reader and am currently on book 97 out of 100 for my 2023 reading goal. I also enjoy creative writing and love music and live concerts. I was fortunate to catch my favorite band in nine different cities last year!

I look forward to our month together!