Hi BCP Famiies!
I hope this e-mail finds you well in body and spirit! We have heard of a few flu cases popping up in our area…and so begins the flu season! In addition to all the things you do to keep your family healthy, the flu vaccine is protection to consider. Remember, the flu vaccines we offer are ALWAYS mercury/thimerosal/preservative-free, even the ones we give to our parents. A flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older and is especially important for those that have chronic illness or those that have an infant in the home that is not yet old enough to receive one. A booster is recommended for all children under 9 years of age 30 days after their first dose if they have not received at least 2 doses of a flu vaccine in the past.
We will offer the quadrivalent flu shot and intranasal Flumist this year. The flu shot is NOT a live virus, so you CANNOT get the flu from this vaccine nor are you contagious after receiving the vaccine. The Flumist vaccine IS a live vaccine that can create mild symptoms in some cases, but generally does not make you contagious or ill if you have a normal immune system. The Flumist vaccine is only for healthy individuals between the ages of 2-49 years. The Flumist vaccine is not recommended for those that are pregnant, for anyone that is immunocompromised, or for individuals that have chronic disease.
Because we have a VERY limited supply of the intranasal Flumist, we will likely only offer the Flumist to our pediatric patients (not parents).
The flu vaccine cannot provide 100% protection because the virus often mutates during the flu season that 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: the possibility of 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 are happy to provide flu vaccines to our patients and families by appointment only while supplies last. Patients may receive their flu vaccines 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 vaccines while supplies last! Be sure to call to reserve your child’s dose if you want the Flumist, even if you have a well check coming up. 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.
*Please look for additional instructions with your reminder texts/calls on staying in your car when you arrive and calling us for further instructions on when to enter the office. We may implement this and other strategies as needed to maximize safety and social distancing during our family flu clinics.
Take care and stay healthy!
Valerie Wheelock, MD
Barton Creek Pediatrics Staff
Every Friday afternoon through November
October 9th: 10-2
October 19th: 5:30-7:30