Living Well

Flu Clinics are Open

Last updated: Sep 13, 2016

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The best way to prevent the flu from knocking you down later this season is to get your yearly influenza vaccine. Summit Medical Group’s (SMG) flu clinic is open and offering single-dose preservative-free flu shots that will reduce your risk of both contracting and spreading the illness that can cause fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone ages six months and older receive a yearly flu vaccine. This is particularly important for infants and young children, the elderly, and pregnant women, who have an elevated risk of developing serious complications from the flu.

While seasonal influenza outbreaks typically peak in January or February, activity can begin as early as October and continue until May. It takes approximately two weeks after you are vaccinated for your body to develop the antibodies that protect against the flu strains researchers predict will be most common this year.

High-dose flu vaccine is available in the offices upon request for patients age 65 and older. Patients with egg allergies should discuss their options with an allergist. 

Adult Patients

You can get the flu vaccine during a regular office visit with your primary care physician or by scheduling an appointment at one of our convenient flu clinics. To be eligible for the flu shot, an SMG provider must have examined you within the last two years. To make an appointment, please call 908-277-8800 or schedule online through the patient portal. 

The High Dose Flu vaccine is not available in the Adult Flu Clinics please contact your primary care physician to schedule an appointment.

Pediatric Patients

To schedule an appointment for your child’s flu vaccine please call your Summit Medical Group pediatrician or family medicine provider. Pediatric patients must have had a physical exam at Summit Medical Group within the last year. In some cases children may need two doses of the vaccine.
The CDC has determined that the FluMist is not effective in protecting against influenza. This nasal form of the flu vaccine will not be available at Summit Medical Group for the 2016-2017 flu season. However, the traditional flu shot is effective and should be administered to children ages six months and older.

High-risk Patients

Individuals who are more likely to develop serious flu-related complications include:

  • Children younger than five years old, particularly those under the age of two
  • Adults 65 years of age and older – high-dose flu vaccine is available in the offices upon request
  • Pregnant women
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who have medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease
  • Infants younger than six months of age — all caregivers should be vaccinated to help protect babies who are too young to receive the flu shot  

Symptoms of the Flu

The flu shot will lower your chances of contracting the illness. However, if you do become ill, potential signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills — not everyone with the flu will have a fever
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (feeling very tired) 
  • Vomiting and diarrhea – this is more common in children than adults

Steps to Take if You Get the Flu

  • Stay home and rest
  • Avoid close contact with people who are not sick
  • Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent dehydration
  • Treat fever and cough with over-the-counter medications
  • Call your physician if you become very sick, are pregnant, are over 65 years old, or have a high risk of flu-related complications  

How to Prevent Spreading the Flu 

If you have any flu symptoms, the staff will ask you to sanitize your hands and wear a mask when you visit our facilities. Follow these tips to limit transmission:

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs

For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Influenza (Flu).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 26 August 2016. Web. 11 September 2016. 
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Key Facts about Influenza (Flu).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 25 August 2016. Web. 11 September 2016.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2016-2017 Influenza Season.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 6 September 2016. Web. 11 September 2016.  
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