SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – What health officials have deemed a “tripledemic” has led to a dramatic impact on medication availability at pharmacies across the country.

This “tripledemic” of COVID-19, the flu, and Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, has especially impacted the availability of common children’s pain relief medications. The high demand for over-the-counter cold and flu medications has forced chains like CVS and Walgreens to put a cap on the amount that people can buy at a time.

22News spoke to Christine Phan, a pharmacist at the “Cares” pharmacy in Springfield, where though they’re not capping purchases, they simply don’t have the means to keep shelves full.

“Like Tylenol, I was able to stock up like 10 bottles, and we just go through them so quickly. So it’s first-come, first serve,” Phan said. “And everybody is impacted, whether it’s a small chain, like a small pharmacy like us or a big chain.”

Experts say that respiratory illnesses are hitting young children especially hard this year because many have been staying home since the pandemic hit. This leaves their immune systems more vulnerable to common illnesses.