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Tips and resources

If you have kids, you probably have questions about their health. Want to know if something is really an emergency? Need to get more information on your child's illness? Cook Children's Checkup gives you access to explanations, symptoms and tips, all in language that's easy to understand.

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Influenza Vaccine Information for the 2013-2014 Season

Forms

Please download and complete these forms for flu clinic:
FluMist Eligibility Questionnaire

You may download the CDC Vaccine Information Sheets:
Inactivated Seasonal Influenza Vaccine (Shot)
Live Intranasal Seasonal Influenza Vaccine (Mist)

When? 

Flu Mist clinics: 

Flu Shot Clinics:

We are not planning to have clinics Monday mornings, Friday afternoons, or Saturdays.

Please call our office for details and to schedule!

Who Should Get the Influenza Vaccine?

Flu Vaccination is recommended for everyone over the age of 6 months for the prevention of seasonal influenza A and B. Patients at higher risk of complications from influenza include infants under age 2 years and children with a history of wheezing/asthma, respiratory illnesses, prematurity, diabetes, or heart disease.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer flu vaccines to family members who are not patients in our practice.

Why get a flu vaccine?

Influenza, also called flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It is known to significantly increase the risk of ear infections, wheezing, pneumonia, and other serious conditions. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year.

Every year in the United States, on average:

Why not get the vaccine?

People with allergy to eggs or who have a history of severe reaction to a previous influenza vaccine should not get it.

We may ask you to delay the Flu Mist if your child has nasal congestion which could block application of the vaccine. We may recommend delaying vaccination with either mist or shot if your child has a current illness with fever. Please consult with our nurses if you have any questions or concerns about your child's eligibility.

Which one should I get?

Both flu shots and flu mist are effective at preventing illness from influenza A and B, including the novel H1N1 virus ("Swine Flu"). Flu Shots are indicated for children and adults ages 6 months and older. Flu Mist (nasal spray) is indicated for children ages 2 years and older, with no history of wheezing in the past year. It cannot be given within 28 days of another live virus vaccine (i.e. MMR, varicella, H1N1 flumist).

The Flu Shot is an inactivated virus (non-live fragments of the viruses) injection which is 80% effective at stimulating immunity lasting about 6 months.

The Flu Mist is a live attenuated virus (weakened, but alive influenza viruses, similar to the chicken pox vaccine) which is over 90% effective, stimulating immunity lasting about 12 months. 

"P-Free" vaccine is a preservative free inactivated virus flu shot, and is available upon request. 

For more details, please see the Centers for Disease Control influenza information page.

When should I get vaccinated?

Since Flu Mist provides up to 12 months of protection, that vaccine can be given at any time, ideally early in the flu season. For the Seasonal Flu Shot, October through December is the best time to get vaccinated, but getting vaccinated later in the flu season still provides protection, as flu season normally peaks in February and lasts through April.

How Many Doses?

If the patient is under 9 years of age, and they have never received the influenza vaccine before, then they need two doses of influenza vaccine this season, at least 28 days apart. We will do our best to reserve these second doses for you, and will be holding second-dose flu clinics in November.

How much?

During patient well-child (physical) visits, we will bill insurance for flu mist and flu shots. 

During flu "clinic," we will either bill insurance OR accept cash/check/credit.  

Cash pay prices for Quadrivalent LAIV Flu Mist: $34;  Seasonal Flu Shot: $27;  P-free Fluzone $30 (6-35 months), $28 (3 yrs ).

If a second "booster" dose is needed one month later, an additional charge will apply.  If the first dose is billed to insurance, we will plan to do the same for the second dose.

We have no way to know what your family's deductible or co-insurance might be for this, so if you have questions about insurance billing, please call your health insurance company.  If you think your financial responsibility might be more than the cash pay price, we recommend you schedule for the cash pay clinic.

What about H1N1 flu ("Swine Flu")?

Though the novel H1N1 influenza virus raised considerable concern in the medical community when it first emerged (spring 2009), we are fortunate that it has proven itself to be no more severe than seasonal influenza. You are certainly hearing a great deal from the media about H1N1 influenza, and this is in large part due to the high prevalence of infection in our community. Because this is a relatively "new" virus to most of our bodies, we are more susceptible to catching it. In general, though, it is no more severe than the influenza we are accustomed to dealing with each winter. (Please see above for further explanation of influenza, its symptoms, and patients at higher risk of complications.)

The seasonal influenza vaccine for the 2013-2014 season will provide coverage for the novel H1N1 ("Swine Flu") virus. See the Centers for Disease Control for details.

How do we treat the Flu?

The symptoms of the influenza virus is usually best treated with rest, fluids, and ibuprofen for pain and fever relief. If the virus triggers reactive diseases such as asthma, appropriate treatment may be necessary. In addition, a bacterial superinfection such as pneumonia may require antibiotic therapy. The antiviral medications, Tamiflu and Relenza, are being reserved for patients with severe disease requiring hospitalization, high risk patients such as young children under 2 years, and children with asthma and other chronic conditions, per CDC recommendations.

Family medical planner

At Cook Children's, we want you to have all the information you need at your fingertips. So, with the help of families, we created a family medical planner to help you keep your child's health information in one place and up to date.

We encourage you to print this document and put it in a binder. Bring the binder to clinic appointments or hospital visits and share the information with any of your child's caregivers.

Family medical planner for boys    Family medical planner for girls

Customize your own medical planner

These binder pages can be customized for a boy or girl. You can choose and print the pages you need for your child. Feel free to create and add your own pages to make this binder as useful as possible.

Additional pages will soon be available for printing, please check back often.

Using your family medical planner

We'd love to offer help and receive your feedback.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions about the family medical planner, please email us at family.library@cookchildrens.org.

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