Every month, Dr. Sandy Vieder of Lakes Urgent Care answers your questions about timely health issues.
From asthma to flu shots, sports injuries to seasonal health topics, Dr. Sandy Vieder, Medical Director and co-owner of Lakes Urgent Care, answers questions asked by his patients every month.
Most-Recently Answered Questions
Click on a question or topic below to learn more.
If your father enjoys visiting with his children or grandchildren, let him know that he is putting his family at risk by not getting vaccinated. That might be adequate motivation!
I would also tell him that by not getting immunized he also puts others at risk. If he won’t choose to do it for himself perhaps he could do it for the benefit of others.
My young daughter got the nasal spray flu vaccine last year and really liked it. Is that still a good option?
Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control issued statements discouraging use of the nasal vaccine in children. Unfortunately, the nasal vaccine has proven to be not as effective as the injectable vaccine.
All children age six months and older should receive the flu vaccine beginning any time in October. This should provide immunity for the entire 2016-17 influenza season. Always consult with your pediatrician or primary care physician if you have any concerns about the vaccine. You may also obtain the vaccine at a certified urgent care center.
Flu vaccines are offered in many places including doctor’s offices, urgent care clinics, health departments or some pharmacies. The pricing varies from place to place, usually ranging from $20 – $30. At Lakes Urgent Care, you can get your flu vaccine for $22.00 and you do not need to have an appointment. Most insurance plans today cover for vaccines, so the only time you would have to pay for the vaccine at Lakes Urgent Care is if you do not have insurance or your insurance plan does not offer this benefit. All retail locations which offer the vaccine, generally do not participate with any insurance plans, so it will be an out of pocket expense, even if you have coverage. Just come in anytime during open hours from 9:00 am – 10:00 pm to get your vaccine. Lakes Urgent Care offers both the regular dose vaccine and high dose vaccine for the same price.
Flu seasons are extremely unpredictable, but peak flu activity is usually between January and February each year. Epidemics of flu occur each year, but the location and severity of the cases varies from year to year. Also, the actual type of flu strain can change from year to year, but the CDC helps to predict what strains will be most likely and this information is used in formulating the vaccine for each season.
There seems to be conflicting information about the best time to get a flu shot. When is the best time to get a flu shot to maximize my protection?
Current medical recommendations indicate that it’s best to get your flu shot sometime after October 1st. In particular, patients over the age of 65 may be negatively impacted by getting the flu vaccine too early in the season. The vaccine stimulates our immune systems to create antibodies to fight against influenza. However, those antibodies may have a limited period of effectiveness. If the vaccine is provided too early in the season, it may lose some of this effectiveness if we experience a late flu season. The flu season typically begins around November or December, with peak activity in January and February. Should there be a slight delay in that pattern, it is possible that the vaccine’s effectiveness may not be as good as it could have been if provided too early in the season, say in August or September.
There seems to be a great deal of “medical marketing” going on by stores like CVS and Walgreens who provide discount coupons or offer to make charitable donations in order to gain your business early in the flu season. It is always best to seek advice from your primary care physician, pediatrician or at a qualified urgent care center, as there may be some specifics differences in your own personal health status indicating the need for a different vaccination schedule.
There are 3 different types of flu vaccine available today. There are 2 different types of injectable vaccine and also a nasal spray vaccine. Most healthy individuals between the ages of 2 years and 49 years may opt for the nasal spray if they prefer not to receive an injection. The nasal spray version is not recommended for individuals who have chronic health issues.
There is also a “high-dose or high- powered” injectable version available which is recommended for adults over the age of 65. This vaccine is comprised of 3 types of flu strains in the formulation (known as trivalent).
The flu shot is indicated for infants older than 6 months and all adults. Any healthy adult who wants to decrease their risk of contracting the flu should get the vaccine. The flu shot is particularly important for anyone who has chronic health problems such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, heart conditions or if you have a weakened immune system. Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant should also get the flu vaccine.
What’s the latest on this year’s flu vaccine? Is now a good time to get vaccinated? And with a new baby in the house, when do I start to get her vaccinated?
While each flu season is highly unpredictable as to the time of onset or how severe it may be, the best recommendation is that you should get vaccinated against influenza as soon as possible, beginning in September. In some years the flu season can last all the way until late April or even early May. Influenza vaccine is recommended for all individuals aged 6 months and older. There is also a different vaccine recommended for individuals who are older than 65. For children under the age of six months who are not eligible for vaccination, it is best to discuss treatment options and prevention with your pediatrician. However, assuring that all members of the family and close relatives get vaccinated is a great first step in prevention. The flu vaccine is generally covered by most insurance plans although it’s always best to check with your specific plan to see what your coverage may be. The influenza vaccine is currently available from most primary care providers. We have an ample supply available at Lakes Urgent Care right now.
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