Vaccines & Flu

[Note: Dr. Wolynn originally wrote this Note in February 2011. Though some of the specific details refer to that time, and to still getting vaccinated deep into the Flu Season, the key message about the importance of getting the Flu Vaccine is relevant, and important, any time it’s available.]

Hi all, Dr Wolynn here.

We have a Flu Vaccine Clinic coming up this Saturday, February 19th, from 1-4 at our Pleasant Hills office, and I wanted to take a moment to comment on both the flu vaccine and vaccines in general.

First: Why a Flu Vaccine clinic in February? There’s no way to predict what month Influenza season will peak. An article in the PG this morning, to which we linked here on our Facebook page, says it may be peaking right now. But several times over the past few decades, it has peaked as late as April and May.

FacebookFlu

If your child is over 6 months and has not yet been vaccinated against the Flu, I urge you to do so immediately.  Last year, Influenza killed over 280 children under the age of 18, may of whom were healthy but unimmunized. (That was a four-fold increase over many previous Flu seasons.)

If you have a child under 6 months of age, the best way to protect him or her is to “cocoon” them by immunizing the adults and children around them. Kids Plus Pediatrics provides immunizations for most adults, and we can bill your insurance directly. As of today, we still have both the nasal spray and the injectable flu vaccine available at both of our offices.

I want you to know that a lot of thought went into the recent Flu links and video postings here on our Facebook page. We don’t want to arm-twist too much, and we respect your individual decisions, but we want to do everything in our control to prevent vaccine-preventable disease in our patients and families.

It’s a tough balancing act whenever we speak to families. We don’t want to seem too grim or overbearing, but we want to make sure we do and say enough to help everyone understand the risks of walking out our doors with your child not fully vaccinated.

I would love to hear your thoughts on these issues. What did you think of the CDC Flu Video? (We know it was a little “heavy,” but we also thought it was a powerful and important message.) What did you think of the Bill Gates interview? What do you believe has been most effective in helping you decide to get yourself or your child immunized?

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts, and thanks so much for being a part of our Kids Plus community.

Dr. Todd Wolynn, the President of Kids Plus Pediatrics, lectures nationally on the subject of immunizations.