Flu Shots for the Whole Family at Metro Pediatrics
The best way to protect yourself during flu season, October through March, is to get the flu shot. The flu shot can help prevent serious complications, like pneumonia and hospitalization, and it’s best to get the shot in the early fall.
For some people, especially kids, getting a shot can be scary. That’s why our staff is specially trained to make the experience gentle and quick. We’ll answer your questions and make sure you’re comfortable.
Book a Flu Shot Appointment
Metro Pediatrics makes flu shots easy with 3 convenient ways to get your family vaccinated: drive-thru appointments, in-clinic appointments, or a flu shot add-on at your well-child exam. We’re happy to vaccinate everyone by appointment, ages 6 months to 64 years old.
Each person receiving a shot needs their own appointment. Families, please book all your appointments during the same time slot, so we can administer them together. If you can’t get the same time, book the next closest time and we will accommodate you.
Give us a call at 833-PDX-KIDS if you still have questions or need help booking your appointment.
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 medical assistant for a breathing ball or bubbles to model the process for younger children.
Brave and 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 medical assistant 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!
Our Comfort Promise
We want children to feel as comfortable as possible during their vaccinations and learn healthy ways to cope with discomfort and stress. Our Comfort Promise offers a menu of choices to help your child get through the needle pokes. From distraction techniques to numbing sprays, and comfort positions, our team will help your little one feel better about this important wellness routine.
Why Flu Vaccination is So Important
Every fall and winter, we recommend that everyone in your family over 6 months old receives an influenza (flu) vaccine. This year, vaccinating for influenza is just as critical as ever.
This flu season, like last year, is expected to be a busy one, with influenza, COVID-19, RSV, and other viruses circulating. Just one of these illnesses can be serious, and having multiple infections at the same time can be even worse. We strongly recommend getting vaccinated against influenza this year.
The flu is not usually a “mild” illness in children. The typical influenza illness consists of 5-6 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 find a lot of comfort in getting their flu shots together. It helps children be brave, and it even helps 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 2 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 whole 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.
Thank you for doing your part to protect the health of your family and our community!