Article
It’s Time to Make an Appointment for Your Annual Flu Vaccine

Released: 10/3/2017

 

 

Flu immunizations are now available by appointment with internal medicine providers and pediatricians at WESTMED offices.  We also have vaccines available during routine visits in women’s health and medical subspecialties throughout WESTMED.

 

For a quick reference to WESTMED internists, pediatricians’ and OB/GYNs’ phone numbers, go to www.westmedgroup.com.  

 

This year, flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses. Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu shot this season. WESTMED will again not offer the nasal spray flu vaccine during 2017-18, according to CDC recommendations.  All flu shots will be by injection.

 

What  vaccines will WESTMED have?

WESTMED will be administering quadrivalent flu vaccines that protect against 4 different viruses and high-dose flu vaccine for patients 65 years of age and older.  All of our vaccines are preservative free.

 

Why  is a High Dose Vaccine Available for > 65?

Our immune system becomes weaker with age, which places older people at greater risk of severe illness from influenza. Also, aging decreases the body's ability to have a good immune response after getting influenza vaccine. A higher dose of antigen in the vaccine provides older people a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against flu.

 

When  should I get vaccinated?

“It’s best to get vaccinated before flu season starts,” says Dr. Steven Meixler, medical director and vice president of WESTMED Medical Group.   “It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.” Make your appointment now.  Flu season usually begins in October and can last through May.  It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.

 

Who  should get vaccinated this season?

It’s especially important for certain groups to get immunized. They are:

  • People who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu.
    • This includes
      • People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
      • Pregnant women.
      • People 65 years and older.
  • People who live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications
    • This includes household contacts and caregivers of people with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.

 

Why do I need a flu vaccine every year?

A flu vaccine is needed every year because flu viruses are constantly changing. It’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year. The flu vaccine is formulated each year to keep up with the flu viruses as they change.

 

As always, please notify your primary care provider at WESTMED if you received a vaccine elsewhere so w

    e have an updated list of all of your vaccinations.