INFLUENZA 2018-2019 — Up to date Recommendations
As in the past, we strongly recommend the influenza vaccine for all children 6 months of age and older, especially those who are “high risk” patients. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend annual influenza immunization for all children and adolescents 6 months and older. Special efforts are urged to immunize the following groups:
- Children with health conditions that increase the risk of complications from influenza (such as asthma, diabetes, morbid obesity, immunologic disorders, neurologic disorders, aspirin therapy).
- Household contacts and out of home care providers for children under 5 years old and with high risk conditions.
- Pregnant Women.
- Healthcare Providers
It’s safe to say that just about everyone may be exposed to the flu each winter. The complication rate (ear infections, pneumonia, asthma flares) is high. We therefore suggest that everyone consider getting the flu vaccine if available.
Flu vaccine can be given to any child over 6 months of age. There is an increasingly strong recommendation for all infants, toddlers, children and adolescents to receive the flu vaccine.
If under 9 years of age and less than two doses were received the last 5 years (since the Fall 2010 flu vaccine season), two doses should be given, at least one month apart. If 9 years of age or older, then only one dose is needed for adequate protection. Contact us at (301) 681-6730 to inquire as to how many doses are required if you are not certain.
What about the Nasal Flu Vaccine?
In the past couple of flu vaccine seasons, the live-virus nasal flu vaccine (FluMist) has not been recommended or available, due to studies demonstrating it to be less effective than the injectable vaccine. FluMist has been approved by the CDC/ACIP and will be available for the 2018-2019 flu season, based on study data suggesting the new formulation would be effective.
However, upon review of the same data, the AAP recommends children receive the injectable form of the vaccine, which was shown to be more consistently effective against most strains of the flu virus over the past several flu seasons. For those children who would otherwise receive no flu vaccine, the AAP says the nasal spray vaccine can be given as a last resort, though it could leave them at higher risk for flu than if they had received the flu shot. The nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for children under 2 years or children with chronic medical conditions such as asthma.
We will have both the injectable vaccine and the nasal FluMist available, but recommend the injectable vaccine for most individuals.
Flu Shot Payment:
Patients – Insurance will be billed
Parents – $35.00, due at time of service; Parents choosing to obtain their own flu vaccines at our office do so with the acknowledgement that they have opted to do so outside of their insurance coverage. We are unable to engage in insurance billing, documentation or refunds. A receipt will be given upon request for FLEX plans or for personal records. We will not be offering a receipt for insurance reimbursement.
Receive your flu vaccine at a regularly scheduled appointment or at one of our Flu Vaccine Days.
FLU VACCINE DAYS: NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED – Wednesday and Thursday All Day – 8:00am to 4:30pm