2022-23 Flu Prevention
Flu & COVID-19 Shots for the Whole Family
Family flu shots are back at Metropolitan Pediatrics! This year, your family can also receive COVID-19 doses and boosters during our flu vaccination events. This includes the new bivalent booster for ages 12 and older.
- Saturday, September 24 (Beaverton & Johnson Creek)
- Saturday, October 1 (Beaverton & Gresham)
- Saturday, October 15 (Beaverton & Gresham)
If you don’t see openings on these dates, the drive-thru is full.
Protect Your Family
Why Flu Vaccination Is So Important
Every fall and winter, we recommend that everyone in your family over six months old receives an influenza (flu) vaccine. This year, vaccinating for influenza is just as critical as ever.
This flu season, it’s possible to get influenza and COVID-19 at the same time. If that happens, children will likely be much sicker. We strongly recommend being vaccinated for both influenza and COVID-19.
The flu is not usually a “mild” illness in children. The typical influenza illness consists of five to six days of very high fever, cough, body aches, and headaches. That alone is a burden on families as it results in a miserable child, missed parental workdays, and school absences. In addition, influenza has the potential to be MUCH more serious than that. Influenza can cause an infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord called meningitis. Influenza can also lead to serious bacterial pneumonias. These are just a few of the complications of influenza that kill people, even otherwise completely healthy people, and THEY HAPPEN! Influenza causes 6,000 to 30,000 deaths in the US every year. It happens to people in Oregon and has even happened to patients in our clinic. These illnesses and deaths are particularly heartbreaking because they could have been prevented.
This year, we’re excited to offer flu shots again for the whole family! Everyone in your household under age 65 (not covered by Medicare or Kaiser HMO) is welcome to receive a flu shot here. Many families found a lot of comfort in getting their flu shots together. It helped children be brave, and it even helped a few parents be brave too! Let our front desk team know now if you want to receive your influenza vaccine at Metropolitan Pediatrics, so that we can get you registered and collect your insurance information ahead of time.
It’s important to remember that flu vaccines serve multiple purposes. They help prevent people from getting the flu to begin with, and they also reduce the severity of disease if children get the flu despite being vaccinated. Even in seasons when the vaccine is not as good at preventing disease, it can very significantly decrease serious complications like pneumonia and meningitis and even death from influenza. In addition, getting the flu vaccine helps to protect our whole community.
Even though influenza vaccines aren’t required for school, we still recommend them as strongly as every other childhood vaccine. They are just as important as children’s scheduled shots. They are particularly important for kids under age two and kids with chronic health problems like asthma, as these children are more susceptible to the complications of influenza.
The flu shot cannot cause you to get the flu. Reactions are no different than any other vaccine. Most people have no reaction to the vaccine, but if a reaction occurs, it is typically mild, such as soreness at the injection site or a low-grade, short-lived fever.
Please protect yourself and your child and vaccinate your entire family against influenza. If you have any questions about the vaccine, don’t hesitate to ask any of us! You can also check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at cdc.gov/flu.
Thanks for doing your part to protect the health of your family and our community!
Modeling Bravery: Teach Your Child Bravery When You Get Your Flu Shot
Adults who model calm and brave behavior during their own flu shot provide their child with a big dose of bravery training while also helping to protect them from the flu! Follow the guide below for ways to model bravery for your child during your own flu shot.
- Assess Your Own Anxiety Before Pokes. Children look to their parents (or caregivers) for how to respond in scary or uncertain situations. If you are feeling anxious, make sure you use the techniques below to teach your child how to be brave during a needle poke.
- Belly Breathing. Take a few slow, deep breaths and explain to your child that this is one way to increase bravery. Ask your MP team members for a breathing ball or bubbles to model the process for younger children.
- Brave & Honest Talk. Model bravery with true and helpful statements. If your child asks if the poke hurts, be honest. “Yes, it hurts, but just for a few seconds,” or “It can be uncomfortable, but only for a little bit. Actually, the paper cut I got the other day was more uncomfortable than this.”
Use Available Supports! Ask your MP team about using the ShotBlocker® or Buzzy® Bee to reduce discomfort and show your child how these tools are used. Not only will this reassure your child that there are steps they can take to reduce distress, it will help make the poke more comfortable for you too!