2016 – 2017 Flu Vaccine

Dear Parents,

Hirsch Pediatrics is pleased to announce that the FLU VACCINE IS NOW AVAILABLE to all patients and caregivers at our walk-in flu vaccine clinic every day from 8:00 – 12:30 and 2:00 – 4:30.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have recommended that everybody over the age of 6 months be vaccinated against the flu. This is especially important for the higher risk groups including all children as well as caretakers of young children. I strongly support this recommendation. Please do not delay in getting you and your child vaccinated.

As always, Hirsch Pediatrics is committed to providing the highest quality of care by ensuring that the flu vaccine is administered to you and your child as expeditiously, safely, and conveniently as possible.

Please see below for answers to commonly asked questions regarding the flu vaccine and its availability at Hirsch Pediatrics.

I look forward to working with you to help ensure that you and your family have a “flu-free” flu season.

Sincerely,

Steven F. Hirsch, MD, FAAP

When can my child and I receive the flu vaccine?

•  Patients and caregivers may come to walk-in flu clinic every day from 8:00 – 12:30 and 2:00 – 4:30.

•  All flu vaccines given at Hirsch Pediatrics are quadrivalent and preservative free.

•  PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO CDC RECOMMENDATIONS FLU MIST (NASAL SPRAY VACCINE) WILL NOT BE GIVEN THIS YEAR.

Can parents and caregivers receive the flu vaccine from Hirsch Pediatrics?

Yes. While supplies last, we are happy to vaccinate and encourage all parents and caregivers to receive the flu vaccine. Not only will this protect those individuals from the flu, it will significantly protect their children from flu exposure as well.

Some children will need two doses of flu vaccine separated by 1 month. How many doses will my child need?

Children ages 6 months through 8 years who have never received the flu vaccine before will need 2 doses separated by 1 month. Children who are at least 9 years old will only need 1 dose regardless of previous vaccination history.

I do not recall if my child received the flu vaccine last year. How can I find out this information?

Simply log into your patient portal account and you can view your child’s personal health record (PHR) which will include a history of all previous vaccines given. Please contact Hirsch Pediatrics if you need a login and password for your patient portal account.

How much does the flu vaccine cost?

For current patients of Hirsch Pediatrics whose insurance coverage includes the flu vaccine, there is no additional charge for the flu vaccine other than your normal visit copay. The cost to non-patient adults for the flu vaccine is $45.

Reimbursement Note: Hirsch Pediatrics is able to offer the flu vaccine to adults and caregivers as a courtesy. By receiving your flu vaccine at Hirsch Pediatrics, you agree to pay the above noted cost and will not submit this to your insurance for in-network reimbursement. For non-patients, any insurance contracted or reduced amounts will not apply. Should you prefer to pay a reduced rate (i.e. co-pay), you must contact your own primary care physician or other health clinic to receive the vaccine.

Who should get the flu vaccine?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that everybody be vaccinated against the flu. 

Which people are at higher risk of developing flu-related complications?

The following groups are at higher risk of developing flu related complications that can lead to hospitalizations:

•  Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old

•  Adults 65 years of age or older

•  People with history of wheezing, asthma, or other chronic medical conditions

•  Pregnant woman

Is it safe for pregnant women to receive a flu shot?

Yes. As stated by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “All pregnant women, regardless of trimester, should get the influenza vaccination during the flu season [and] preventing the flu during pregnancy is an essential element of prenatal care.” In fact a recent study of 4200 births found that pregnant women who received the flu vaccine were 40% less likely to deliver prematurely. Note: Pregnant women may only receive the flu shot and may not receive the nasal spray Flumist.

Is it safe for nursing mothers to receive the flu vaccine?

Yes. It is safe and highly recommended that all nursing mothers receive a flu shot or a nasal spray Flumist.

Can a flu vaccine actually give you the flu?

No.  It is impossible for the flu vaccine to give you the flu.

So why did I get sick last year after getting the flu shot?

The goal of a flu vaccine (or any vaccine) is to expose your immune system to a component of the actual organism you are trying to protect yourself against.  It is a relatively short lived immune system response to this component that makes you feel sick, not the actual virus.  Thus, the illness that you may feel from the vaccine is typically much milder and shorter in duration than actually becoming sick with the flu virus.  Also, the illness you may feel from the flu vaccine is not contagious.