There are many places to get your flu vaccine these days. While doctors agree that getting vaccinated is key, many recommend visiting your regular physician for that shot.
Why should I visit my doctor’s office? Aren’t vaccines the same wherever you get them?
Yes, vaccines all come from just a few manufacturers and are carefully monitored for quality. But there are other considerations, especially if the patient in question is a child. Here are some points your physician would like you to consider before getting your kids vaccinated outside of the office.
- Most in-store techs are not authorized to vaccinate babies or small children. Licensing varies from state-to-state, but the patient age minimum tends to be around 6 or 7 years old for most vaccines.
- Continuity of care. Your child’s record will rarely reflect vaccines given outside the office, which can lead to confusion and even over-vaccination if parents don’t keep their own records.
- Needle fear is common among kids, but pediatric nurses are experts at minimizing the anxiety and potential trauma of getting a shot. Nurses are far more experienced with shots and trained in the unique anatomy of babies and kids. They know the perfect, least painful injection areas and the ideal method for reducing pain.
- Missed preventative opportunities are another concern many doctors point out when they object to in-store vaccines. Technicians aren’t trained to recognize other potential health or developmental red flags that deserve a follow-up. If your child’s “chapped lip” is actually a fungal rash, or your baby’s eyes aren’t tracking appropriately for their age, it’s unlikely to be noticed, let alone mentioned.
- Increases exposure to illness is always a concern with babies and toddlers but is especially alarming this year because of Covid-19. Because in-store vaccinations often require families to wait in small areas near people who may be ill, doctors recommend steering clear and making an appointment with your child’s pediatrician instead.
- Safety is an issue if your child has a chronic or temporary medical condition. Your child’s pediatrician is the best person to determine whether getting a vaccine or postponing it is in your child’s best interest.
At Pediatric Care Specialists, we’re making flu vaccines easier than ever. Just call us. We’ll make an appointment for your family at whichever office is most convenient to you.