NWA Pharmacies Struggle to Keep Up With Mumps Vaccinations

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The number of mumps cases in Northwest Arkansas as it continues to climb. According the Arkansas Department of Health there are now nine confirmed cases and 48 clinically diagnosed cases. 
 
The Springdale School District says there are now 14 schools affected in our area.
Knwa looked into how local pharmacies are stocking up to supply the growing need, and with over 50 cases reported in Northwest Arkansas so far, pharmacists are voicing their concerns.
 
Dillon Jones is a pharmacist at Collier Drug Store in Fayetteville, he says usually they do one or two MMR vaccinations a month.
“Starting yesterday the phone calls have been coming in all day long,” Jones said.
 
The general public does not require a booster shot but if you work in healthcare or education, pharmacists say you’re going to need it, and according the center for disease control, if you were vaccinated before 1979 you will need a booster because the disease was not active when the vaccine was made. 
 
Pharmacists say the general rule is kids ages 12 to 15 months should get one shot… And then get another one before they turn four. Anyone under the age of 18 needs a prescription to get vaccinated.
 
But now that mumps is running rampant in our area, Fayetteville resident Pete Hartman says he almost wasn’t able to track down a booster shot.
 
“I called and they said they had two inoculations left so I came down and now they have one, but they have some i think on back order,” said Hartman.
 
Jones says he thinks over the years people have simply forgotten about diseases like the mumps.
 
“It’s because we started to lose value in my opinion of the vaccines because we didn’t see measles, mumps, rubella for the past 15 to 20 years,” Jones said.
 
Dawn Cook is a local mom of two and believes in the power of vaccines  and she’s worried about those who choose to opt out.
 
“It is scary because I don’t know if that particular strain of mumps is the same thing that was eradicated, so does that mean that things could be worse when it starts making its rounds,” Cook said.

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