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Archive for September, 2022

Why You Should Get Your Annual Flu Vaccine. By Our Student Pharmacist, Reham Okab.

As the fall season begins and the weather gets cooler and cooler, I thought it would be a perfect time to discuss the importance of receiving the annual flu shot.

The annual flu shot simply protects you from getting sick. And as the holiday season approaches, who has time to get sick?

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), “During 2019-2020, the last flu season prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 7.5 million influenza illnesses, 3.7 million influenza-associated medical visits, 105,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations, and 6,300 influenza-associated deaths.”

The flu shot covers four different strains (a quadrivalent vaccine) of the influenza virus. It covers two strains of the Type A Influenza and two strains of the Type B Influenza.

Each year, the strains chosen for the flu vaccines are based on studies as to how fast they (the strains) spread and which strains are predicted to cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season.

You might ask yourself, how do we know these flu shots are effective if what is used is based on what is predicted to happen?

The CDC conducts studies to see how effective the flu shot was each year. In the 2021-2022 flu season the vaccine helped reduce the risk of illness by about one third.

According to the CDC, “Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to those used to make flu vaccines.”

4CE9EE4C-5462-410D-B25D-41FF4E3EAD89You will not get the flu from the vaccine, but you may experience side effects such as muscle pain, specifically at the site of injection, a headache, body aches, or a fever. This isn’t to scare you away from the shot; in fact, this is your body’s way of telling you it’s responding to the vaccine! These side effects are usually mild and last for a few days after the shot has been given.

During each flu season, there are several different flu shots available; this year all vaccines available are quadrivalent.

For anyone older than 65 years old, the CDC recommends a specific vaccine that will allow for a better immune response to occur. A couple of these vaccines include the FLUAD and FLUZONE High Dose.

For anyone younger than the age of 65 years old, there is no specific vaccine recommended by the CDC.

Plain City Druggist is now offering two different flu shots: FLUAD and Afluria. FLUAD is for anyone 65 years or older. This vaccine has an adjuvant- or an ingredient that allows for a better immune response to occur from the vaccine. The Afluria is for anyone below 65 years old.

Plain City Druggist is now accepting walk-ins for anyone 7 years or older to receive their flu shot. If you have any questions please give us a call (614-873-0880) or stop by. We’ll be happy to assist you!

Merced-Morales A, Daly P, Abd Elal AI, et al. Influenza Activity and Composition of the 2022–23 Influenza Vaccine — United States, 2021–22 Season. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:913–919. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7129a1

What You Need to Know about the Bivalent COVID Vaccine. By Our Student Pharmacist, Reham Okab.


As the COVID-19 virus adapts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to make adjustments on how to stay ‘up to date’ with your protection against the COVID-19 virus.

Earlier this month, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  passed an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for two bivalent COVID-19 vaccines. These include the Moderna Bivalent and the Pfizer Bivalent.

The CDC recommends that all persons fully immunized against COVID-19 receive the bivalent booster.

In this blog post, I will be discussing the COVID-19 bivalent vaccine and how it differs from previous vaccines (primary series or boosters).

So what exactly does bivalent mean?

Bi- meaning two and valent- meaning strain, covers two strains of the COVID-19 virus. The first strain is SARS-CoV-2; it is the same strain found in the original COVID-19 vaccine. The second and new strain covered is Omicron (BA.4/BA.5).

DB31D04C-6E0D-405E-9874-E4600A980CE1The previous vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson) are monovalent vaccines which means they only cover one strain of the virus (the original strain). Both the Moderna and Pfizer Bivalent vaccines broaden your protection against the virus, keeping you ‘up to date’ with the latest recommendations.

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 Bivalent vaccine?

Regardless of whether you have received booster dose(s) or not, anyone who has completed their primary series on any of the approved COVID-19 monovalent vaccines is eligible to receive the bivalent vaccine. If you have not completed the primary series of vaccines, you are not eligible for any bivalent vaccine.

The FDA has authorized the use of the Moderna Bivalent vaccine for anyone 18 years or older.

As of now, the CDC only recommends one dose of the bivalent vaccine. The minimum time interval between the bivalent vaccine and your last COVID-19 vaccine dose must be at least two months.

Will these bivalent vaccines be replacing the vaccine given as a primary (first) series?

No, the bivalent vaccines will not be replacing primary series, but they will be replacing all other booster vaccines.

What if I already contracted the Omicron variant?

Whether you had the Omicron variant or not, it is recommended that you receive the bivalent vaccine if you are eligible. Just like any illness, after contracting COVID-19, your body has developed antibodies that protect you against the virus. This means there is no rush to receive the bivalent vaccine just yet. You may wait three months to get your vaccine; this gives your body’s immunity time to wear off before receiving the vaccine.

55618684-1FF1-4BC1-AA13-85BD0935BBF6Plain City Druggist is currently offering the Moderna Bivalent vaccine. There is limited supply, so, please, if you have any questions on the bivalent vaccine or your eligibility to receive the vaccine, stop by or give us a call at 614-873-0880. We’ll be happy to assist you!


How To Deal with Head Lice As the School Season Begins. By Our Student Pharmacist, Reham Okab.


Back to school season has officially begun. This means that many kids are coming in close contact with each other at school or during their after school activities. Besides getting sick, during this season, there is quite an increase in the number of head lice cases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated 6-12 million cases of head lice each year among children aged 3-11 years old in the United States.

In this post, I will be discussing head lice, including what it is and how it can be treated.

So what exactly is head lice and what does it look like?

Head lice, or pediculus humanus capitisi, is an insect that lives on hair shafts, the back of the ears, neck, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Lice feeds off the blood in the scalp.

The life cycle of lice is three weeks. Lice start off in the egg (nit) form, then become a nymph, and then an adult. All three forms are very small in size, but they can still be detected with the naked eye. The eggs are yellow/white color and they are often mistaken for dandruff. The nymphs and adults can be seen moving on the hair.

What are the symptoms? How do you confirm an active case?

The most common symptom of head lice is itching of the scalp. By looking for moving nymphs or adult forms, one can confirm an active case of head lice.


What over-the-counter products are used for the treatment?

Nix (permethrin) and Rid (pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide) are both effective treatment options. They work by causing paralysis and death of the lice.

Nix is applied to damp hair after shampooing; it is left on for 10 minutes and then rinsed with warm water. It is important to note that one must not use conditioner for their hair before using this product. Retreatment is not needed with Nix as it has a prolonged effect for up to 10 days after its use. The only time retreatment is needed is if active lice is detected 7-12 days after its use. Nix can be used in children 2 months and older.

Rid is a shampoo product that must be applied to dry hair and left on for 10 minutes. Afterwards, the hair should be wetted, messaged, and rinsed. Unlike Nix, treatment with Rid must be repeated 7-12 days after the first time to ensure all of the eggs have been killed. Rid can only be used in children 2 years and older.

Both products are fairly simple to use. It is important to follow the directions on the package and make sure the product you chose is age appropriate. Regardless of the product chosen, a nit comb is recommended to brush out the lice from the hair.


What should be done to avoid the spread?

Lice can not fly, therefore the only way that they can infect others is via close contact. The best way to avoid infecting more people is to avoid close contact with others, especially if the person contracted lice. Avoid sharing personal items such as hats, hair brushes, and towels.

In the event of an infestation (besides treating the patient), you will want to make sure you wash any bedding, toys, and/or personal items such as towels and clothing. If it is something that can be placed in the washer, wash it on the highest temperature setting. If it cannot be placed in the washer, seal the item(s) in a plastic bag for two weeks; the idea behind this is to suffocate the lice. Checking all household members or others who came in close contact with the person who contracted lice is also important.

It can be a little overwhelming if your child contracts head lice. It is important to remind yourself that just because it was contracted it does not mean your family has poor hygienic practices or your child’s school is not clean.

If you have any questions or concerns on the topic, contact your pharmacist. They will be happy to help!



Please Welcome Reham Okab Our Student Pharmacist for the Month of September.

Reham Student September 2022

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

Reham will graduate in May 2023 with her PharmD degree and will then take the test to become a registered pharmacist. Reham 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 Reham tells us about herself:

Hello! My name is Reham Okab. I’m a fourth year pharmacy student at The Ohio State University with past experience in chain pharmacies. I  am a Palestinian American who grew up in Lexington, Ohio.

My interest in pharmacy began from hearing stories about my grandfather who owned an independent pharmacy in Palestine. Although he passed away 20 years ago, people till this day talk about his impact on the community. It’s a special feeling hearing stories about him from strangers every time I visit Palestine.

Pharmacists are easily accessible health providers. I find this unique to the profession and it further sparked my interest in the field.

In practice, I enjoy the patient interaction and compounding medications.

Outside of pharmacy, I enjoy cooking and spending time with my family. Growing up, I spent many days in my father’s corner store. Something about family owned independent businesses feels like home to me. I’m looking forward to seeing this at Plain City Druggist.

In the future, I would love operate an independent pharmacy or work in compounding. Regardless of what I end up choosing, I strive to have a positive impact on my community just like my grandfather.