Seasonal Flu Vaccine Clinic
We are currently scheduling appointments for most kids over the age of 2 for FluMist intranasal flu vaccine! Please schedule an appointment through MyChart.
We now have a limited supply of FluMist Flu vaccine for most children over the age of 2.
We have received a limited supply of FluMist, an intranasal live vaccine for certain children over the age of 2 and will be scheduling several flu clinics to give the vaccine. Patients who are scheduled for a well visit (and their siblings) can receive the vaccine as supplies last, at their well visits.
Which should my child get, a flu shot or FluMist? This article from the American Academy of Pediatrics answers this question: Prepare Your Family for Flu Season. And this article from the CDC has a great discussion as well: Who Should and Should Not Get a Flu Vaccine.
It is important to know that there are NO SHORTAGES of flu vaccine expected this year. We have ordered plenty of both FluMist and flu shots and expect to be receiving the bulk of our shipment in the next month or so. The recommendation is to receive a flu vaccine before the end of the year if possible, and we will be continuing to give flu vaccines through the end of the flu season (April or May) as long as our supplies last.
Once these flu clinics fill and our current vaccine is spoken for, we will stop scheduling flu clinics until we receive more vaccine. Then we will restart scheduling again.
We will not be able to give flu vaccines to parents or caregivers, and fortunately, there are lots of places in the community where flu vaccines are readily available. Please check VACCINEFINDER.org for a list of locations near you. If you have the opportunity to have your children receive a flu vaccine elsewhere, this is acceptable to us and we just ask that you let us know the dates your children have received the flu vaccine.
This year patients should schedule appointments through MyChart, our patient portal. If you do not have access, you can sign up at MyChart.LurieChildrens.org.
If any of our patients in your family has an appointment between now and the end of the year, we encourage you to bring all of our patients in the family at that time. We will be vaccinating as many people as possible while they are already in our office. If no one is due for an appointment before January 1, you can schedule a flu clinic appointment. The times that these are scheduled varies, and an appointment for a flu clinic is required.
For kids under 9 years old, a booster dose may be required (if the child has not received 2 doses before this season). For kids with egg allergy, the shot may need to be given at the allergist.
Flu season typically peaks in mid-February. While many people think of "stomach flu" (which is usually caused by an unrelated virus) when they hear the word flu, influenza is more dominantly an upper respiratory infection, with coughing, runny nose, fevers, body aches, and generally feeling lousy. Complications of the flu can include a secondary pneumonia or dehydration, among other rare outcomes. The flu vaccine offers good protection against several of the strains of the flu that will circulate this year and there is evidence that even if a vaccine recipient gets the flu, it is likely to be less severe than in an unvaccinated person.
Influenza patients in higher-risk groups--including patients under 2 years old, patients with underlying medical problems such as asthma or heart conditions, patients who live with someone who is at high risk from contracting the flu, such as a younger sibling, an older relative, or an immunocompromised person--may qualify for Tamiflu treatment. It is most effective if started within 48 hours of the beginning of symptoms. Tamiflu may reduce the severity and duration of influenza. Because Tamiflu can have some undesirable side effects, including nausea and vomiting, we tend not to prescribe it for lower-risk patients. However, the decision whether or not to use Tamiflu in an influenza patient will be made based on the overall circumstances of the illness and the patient's individual health. Children in low-risk groups, but with severe illness will generally be treated with tamiflu.