What you need to know about the 2020-21 flu season from Dr. Sanford Vieder, Lakes Urgent Care Medical Director
The CDC is currently recommending that everyone get vaccinated for Influenza in September or October, so right now is the right time! Lakes Urgent Care has the 2020 flu vaccine available right now. We also have the high dose influenza vaccine recommended for adults 65 and older. No appointment is necessary, so come to Lakes Urgent Care and get vaccinated. You will be taking an important step toward protecting yourself, your family and reducing the chances of having a more complicated infection during the coming cough, cold and flu season.
The coming flu season will surely present new challenges to all of us due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Circulating flu viruses change from year to year and the actual formulation of the Influenza vaccine varies from year to year based upon complex worldwide predictive modeling. What is certain, is that getting a flu shot each season is the best first line defense against becoming ill from the Influenza virus.
Unfortunately, the flu vaccine does not afford any protection directly against COVID-19, but getting vaccinated decreases your chances of becoming infected with both viruses simultaneously, which could just save a person’s life. The Influenza virus and the coronavirus are significantly different in their RNA makeup and the manner in which the effect the human body. The concern this coming season is the potentially devastating impact of both Influenza and COVID-19 pandemic occurring simultaneously and what impact that may have upon the healthcare system. So do your part to limit the impact of Influenza by getting vaccinated as soon as possible.
Everyone six months and older should get a flu shot every year. It’s especially important for women who are pregnant and anyone with a compromised immune system to get a flu shot.
Come see us whenever its convenient for you. We have the more effective (four-component) flu vaccine which offers greater protection. We also have the high-dose vaccine for patients 65 and older.
For the latest information about flu activity in our area, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm
If you think you have the flu, Lakes Urgent Care is the first urgent care facilities in metro Detroit to offer a revolutionary new test that can quickly diagnose the flu with nearly 100% accuracy and strep throat with 98% accuracy. The cobas® Liat® PCR System from Roche Diagnostics represents a major advancement in testing accuracy for flu and strep throat.
The test takes about twenty minutes on-site, enabling a Lakes Urgent Care physician to make a fast, more confident and reliable treatment decision while you are still in the office.
Frequently-Asked Questions about the Flu Shot
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.
Admission and waiting room policies
We now offer full services at our Livonia office.
Prior to entering, all patients will be pre-screened and any patient who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 will enter a separate waiting room and use separate examining rooms. Our Livonia office has separate waiting rooms and we have obtained sufficient personal protection equipment (PPE) to maintain the highest level of health and safety for our patients and staff.
We continue to offer most services at our West Bloomfield office.
Prior to entering, all patients will be pre-screened for COVID-19 exposure and symptoms. Patients who exhibit these symptoms will be given instructions and guidelines at the door.
Patients who do not exhibit these symptoms will be allowed to enter for treatment of most urgent care issues including wound care, basic burn care, eye complaints, abdominal pain (without vomiting or diarrhea), back pain, dermatologic issues, x-ray and initial fracture care, asthma and any other concerns not related to upper respiratory infections or risk of COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Please call us if you have any questions or concerns prior to your visit.
We’ve added new disinfectant and sanitization measures for greater safety
In addition to our usual sanitizing processes, we now also use HVLP (high volume, low pressure) disinfectant sprayers in all our examining rooms to assure complete coverage of all surfaces.
The new sprayed solutions are organic, non-toxic 100% viricidal and bactericidal, and are FDA and CDC approved for the use against and prevention of the virus which causes COVID-19.
In addition to daily deep cleaning, each treatment area, x-ray room and restroom is sprayed after each use. Each patient entering a treatment or diagnostic room will not be exposed to any risks of viral transmission associated with a prior patient visit in that space.
From all of us at Lakes Urgent Care West Bloomfield and Livonia, we are committed to providing you and your family with professional, compassionate medical care in the safest and cleanest environment possible.
Thank you for trusting us with your care.
Dr. Sanford Vieder D.O., F.A.C.O.E.P.
Medical Director, Lakes Urgent Care