It’s flu season again! We have already had a few flu cases in our office! It’s time to start thinking about protecting your children and your family from the flu virus. The CDC and the Academy of Pediatrics are recommending any/all forms of the flu vaccine this year (the intranasal flumist included). However, there is a very limited supply of flumist and there is a general delay in delivery of all flu vaccines this year. While we have now received part of our preservative-free injectable flu vaccine order, the rest of our order will come in at a rate that we cannot control. We have been warned we MAY not receive ANY of our flumist order due to the limited supply. We have arranged for flu clinics as listed below for your convenience, but these dates/times are dependent on our supply coming in on time. We will start giving flu vaccines to patients during their well-checks and those who make an appointment at our flu clinics. We ask for your patience and understanding with this process.
Remember, the flu vaccines we offer are ALWAYS mercury/thimerosal/preservative-free, even the ones we give to our parents. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older and is especially important for those that have chronic illness, asthma, or those that have an infant in the home that is not yet old enough to receive a flu vaccine. A booster 30 days after the first dose is recommended for all children under 9 years of age if they have not had at least 2 flu vaccines before. The flu vaccine cannot provide 100% protection the length of the flu season as the virus often mutates during the season and may result in a strain circulating that is not covered by the vaccine. However, there is still significant benefit in the vaccine even if the circulating strain is not covered by the vaccine in that there is enough cross-coverage from similar strains to significantly reduce the length and severity of illness in those that received a flu vaccine. For pediatric patients especially, we feel this is a major benefit: mild cold symptoms for a few days versus more severe upper respiratory symptoms, aches, fever for 7-14 days with an increased risk of secondary bacterial infections.
We offer the quadrivalent flu shot. These vaccines protect against 4 strains of the flu virus (two “A” strains and two “B” strains). The flu shot is NOT a live virus, so you CANNOT get the flu from the vaccine nor are you contagious after receiving the vaccine.
We are happy to provide flu shots to our patients and families by appointment only while supplies last. We will not schedule appointments for the flumist until/unless we receive a shipment. Patients may receive their flu shots during well checks or at the flu clinics. However, in order to maintain our schedule, parents/caregivers may ONLY receive flu shots during our scheduled flu clinics (not during a child’s well/sick visit).
Call to schedule your family’s flu shots while supplies last! Thank you for being patient with us as we work as hard as we can to get as many people scheduled as we are able in the next few days. Because our phone lines can get overwhelmed during this process, you can send an e-mail requesting a call back to schedule a flu appointment. We will do our best to call you back in the order we receive your e-mail, as business hours allow.
Take care and stay healthy!
Valerie Wheelock, MD
Barton Creek Pediatrics Staff
Every Wednesday and Friday afternoon through early November
October 17th (5pm-7pm)
*We may add other after-hour clinics as needed once we get more supply in.