Flu Vaccine

Updated October 2, 2019

Flu vaccine is available for the 2019-2020 winter season.

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Scheduling a flu clinic visit:

Flu Clinic visits are being scheduled. Please call our office to make arrangements.

Seasonal influenza vaccine:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend seasonal influenza vaccination for all children 6 months to 24 years of age. Per the CDC, all children in this age group are considered high risk.

Vaccine Supply and Flu Clinic Visits:

We have plenty of flu vaccine for all Needham Pediatrics patients.

Your child may be vaccinated at a flu vaccine visit with the nurse or at a regularly scheduled well child care visit. When possible, we may be able to provide flu vaccine at sick visits as well..

Please understand that we cannot vaccinate parents or other household members. We reserve our vaccine supply for Needham Pediatrics patients only.

FluMist vs. Injected Flu Vaccine:

In the past, flu vaccine has been available in two forms -- an injectable vaccine and a nasal mist (FluMist) that is squirted in the nose. Many children prefer FluMist because no needle is involved.

Unfortunately, in the 2016 and 2017 flu vaccine seasons, FluMist was not available, because an expert panel from the Centers for Disease Control determined that the nasal form of the vaccine was not effective after the 2015-2016 season.  In 2018, the CDC again allowed use of the FluMist vacciine, but only as a "last resort" if the injected form could not be given.  

For the 2019 season, FluMist is expected to be available in limited supply. but currently none is being supplied by the State and we have none in our office.  Given the uncertainties of its availability, and some ongoing question about efficacy, we recommend that our patients get the injected vaccine.

Is my child a high-risk patient?

Yes.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that all people younger than 24 years be considered high risk and thus be equally eligible for vaccination.

According to the CDC definitions, all Needham Pediatrics patients are high-risk.

Physicians and scientists recognize that certain underlying risk factors -- such as age younger than 2 years, immunocompromise, cystic fibrosis, neurological disease, and asthma -- tend to increase a patient's risk of developing complications from influenza. Many of these patients can receive only the injectable form of the flu vaccine. When vaccine is in short supply, we will make every effort to make sure that patients with these unique risk factors have access to injectable vaccine.