Updated Flu Clinic Information

You can click on request an appointment (preferred) or call our office at 978-577-0437 to schedule a flu vaccine for your child.

These clinics are for injectable vaccine unless otherwise specified and are by appointment only.

Walk ins may be turned away.

Injectable flu vaccine is available for patients 6 months and older.

REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT

Please include the following information with your request:

  • Patient name/DOB and sibling(s) name/DOB if applicable
  • Please be specific in your request about the date,      time and location you would prefer. It would also be helpful if a time range is given when you are available.

If the time requested is not available, we will book your appointment in the next available spot. You will receive a confirmation via text or e-mail regarding the time. Please call the office to reschedule if needed.

Please note that we are currently unable to schedule booster doses. We will notify you when they become available.

If your child has a Well Visit scheduled, he/she can receive the flu vaccine at that time.

Influenza vaccine is grown in eggs

Patients with a true egg allergy will need to contact their allergist to find out whether they can receive the flu vaccine. If yes, the vaccine will need to be given by the allergist.

Allergy West patients with egg allergies can contact their office at 978-619-5447 to schedule an appointment to get the flu vaccine in that office. Patients who can tolerate eggs that are cooked or in baked goods can safely get the flu shot at Pediatrics West, but will need to wait in the office for 30 minutes following for observation.

These patients will not be scheduled in flu clinics.

 Visit the CDC website for more information regarding people with egg allergies.

Please contact the office if your child has already received the flu vaccine so that medical records can be updated.

Thank you for helping us make this flu season run smoothly!

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Flu Vaccine is now available…

You can click on request an appointment (preferred) or call our office at 978-577-0437 to schedule a flu vaccine for your child.

These clinics are for injectable vaccine unless otherwise specified and are by appointment only.

Walk ins may be turned away.

Injectable flu vaccine is available for patients 6 months and older.

REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT

Please include the following information with your request:

  • Patient name/DOB and sibling(s) name/DOB if applicable
  • Please be specific in your request about the date,      time and location you would prefer. It would also be helpful if a time range is given when you are available.

If the time requested is not available, we will book your appointment in the next available spot. You will receive a confirmation via text or e-mail regarding the time. Please call the office to reschedule if needed.

Please note that we are currently unable to schedule booster doses. We will notify you when they become available.

If your child has a Well Visit scheduled, he/she can receive the flu vaccine at that time.

Westford Flu Clinics

DAY DATE TIME
Monday 10/13/14 10:00am - 6:30pm
Tuesday 10/14/14 10:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday 10/18/14 9:00am - 2:00pm Mist only*
Tuesday 10/21/14 Noon      – 8:00pm
Thursday 10/23/14 2:00pm –   8:00pm
Saturday 10/25/14 9:00am –   2:00pm
Sunday 10/26/14 1:00pm –   5:00pm
Tuesday 10/28/14 10:00am - 5:30pm
Thursday 10/30/14 9:00am –   5:00pm
Tuesday 11/4/14 3:00pm –   6:00pm
Thursday 11/6/14 Noon – 5:00pm
Friday 11/7/14 5:30pm –   8:00pm
Tuesday 11/11/14 10:00am - 5:00pm
Thursday 11/13/14 2:00pm –   5:00pm
Saturday 11/15/14 9:00am –   2:00pm

*Live Nasal Flu Spray (Flu Mist) is available to patients who are 2 and older and who are healthy.

Groton Flu Clinics

DAY DATE TIME
Monday 10/13/14 10:00am - 6:30pm
Tuesday 10/14/14 5:30pm –   8:00pm
Thursday 10/16/14 4:00pm –   8:00pm
Monday 10/20/14 5:00pm –   8:00pm
Tuesday 10/21/14 5:30pm –   8:00pm
Wednesday 10/22/14 5:00pm –   8:00pm
Monday 10/27/14 5:00pm –   8:00pm
Tuesday 10/28/14 5:30pm –   8:00pm
Wednesday 10/29/14 5:00pm –   8:00pm
Tuesday 11/4/14 5:30pm –   8:00pm
Tuesday 11/11/14 10:00am - 5:00pm
Thursday 11/13/14 2:00pm –   6:30pm
Friday 11/14/14 9:00am –   3:00pm


Fitchburg Flu Clinics

DAY DATE TIME
Monday 10/13/14 Noon – 5:00pm
Friday 11/7/14 3:00pm –   8:00pm
Friday 11/14/14 3:00pm –   8:00pm

Influenza vaccine is grown in eggs

Patients with a true egg allergy will need to contact their allergist to find out whether they can receive the flu vaccine. If yes, the vaccine will need to be given by the allergist.

Allergy West patients with egg allergies can contact their office at 978-619-5447 to schedule an appointment to get the flu vaccine in that office. Patients who can tolerate eggs that are cooked or in baked goods can safely get the flu shot at Pediatrics West, but will need to wait in the office for 30 minutes following for observation.

These patients will not be scheduled in flu clinics.

 Visit the CDC website for more information regarding people with egg allergies.

Please contact the office if your child has already received the flu vaccine so that medical records can be updated.

Thank you for helping us make this flu season run smoothly!

Read more

October is National Bullying Prevention Month!

Every October, schools and organizations across the country join STOMP Out Bullying™ in observing National Bullying Prevention Month. The goal: encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all age

Make friends with someone you don’t know at school

If you’ve ever been isolated from others at school or you were new at school and it took time to make friends, you know what it feels like to be left out. Or even if you were never isolated, imagine how it would feel.

Make friends with someone at school who you don’t know. Invite them to sit at your lunch table or join you in an after school activity. You probably wish someone had done that for you.

Be a leader. Take action and don’t let anyone at school be in isolation.

When you see someone being bullied, be brave and STAND UP for them. Bullies have been known to back off when others stand up for victims.

If you don’t feel safe get the help of an adult immediately. Be part of the solution — not the problem!

The Week of October 27th

Students can participate through social media or by printing cards (available on our partner’s  RFK Project SEATBELT website at www.ProjectSEATBELT.org) to hand out while trick-or-treating on Halloween. The cards urge community members to sign an online bullying prevention pledge to create environments of respect at home, at school, and in their community.

Parents and educators:  make RESPECT the norm at school, at home, and throughout the community by encouraging students to participate in Trick-or-Treat for Bullying Prevention. It takes an entire community to prevent bullying, and by participating, students can take an active role in making that happen. Registration is easy and all necessary materials are provided at www.projectseatbelt.org.

Students: mention prevention and win a bullying prevention event for your community! Engage your community in four simple steps:

1. Find your school district code at http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/districtsearch/

2. Register your participation at www.projectseatbelt.org.  Make sure you’re registered  under your school district code!

3. Download and print the pledge cards (as many as you need!). Be sure to fill in your school district code and don’t forget that you can also distribute pledge cards electronically through social media sites.

4. You’re ready to go! Start the conversation about bullying prevention by asking people in your community to pledge their support by following the instructions on their pledge card.

Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Every generation helps make their own future.” Do your part and help us change the culture of bullying, just as we’ve changed how we wear a seat belt in a car.

This information was brought to you by http://www.stompoutbullying.org please check out the website for more details and information.

Parents

Parents play a key role in preventing and responding to bullying. If you know or suspect that your child is involved in bullying, there are several resources that may help.

  • Recognize the warning signs that your child is involved in bullying. They could be being bullied, bullying others, or witnessing bullying.  Although these signs could signal other issues, you should talk to your child if they display any sort of behavioral or emotional changes.  Many times kids won’t ask for help, so it is important to know what to look for. If your child is at immediate risk of harming himself or others, get help right away.
  • Learn what bullying is and what it is not. Understanding what bullying is is the first step in forming a plan to prevent or respond to bullying with your child. Many behaviors that look like bullying may be just as serious, but may require different response strategies.  You can also learn about:
    • The frequency of bullying;
    • Who is at risk for being bullied and bullying others; and
    • The effects of bullying

 

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Enterovirus D68

EV-D68 Infections Reported

Hospitals in Missouri and Illinois are seeing more children than usual with severe respiratory illness caused by enterovirus D68 for this time of the  year.

Several other states are investigating clusters of children with severe respiratory illness, possibly due to enterovirus D68.

CDC is watching this situation closely and helping the states with testing of specimens.

 

Q: What is enterovirus D68?

A: Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of many non-polio enteroviruses. This virus was first identified in California in 1962, but it has not been commonly reported in the United States.

Q: What are the symptoms of EV-D68 infection?

A: EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness.

  • Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches.
  • Most of the children who got very ill with EV-D68 infection in Missouri and Illinois had difficulty breathing, and some had wheezing. Many of these children had asthma or a history of wheezing.

Q: How does the virus spread?

A: Since EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, the virus can be found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.

States with  Lab-confirmed EV‑D68 Infections

States with Confirmed EV-D68 InfectionsFrom mid-August to September 17, 2014, a total of 140 people in 16 states have been confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.                                               Learn more about states with confirmed cases.

Q: How many people have been confirmed to have EV-68 infection?

A: From mid-August to September 17, 2014, a total of 140 people in 16 states were confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. (See States with Lab-confirmed Enterovirus D68.) The cases of EV-D68 infection were confirmed by the CDC or state public health laboratories that notified CDC.

Q: How common are EV-D68 infections in the United States?

A: EV-D68 infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enteroviruses. However, CDC does not know how many infections and deaths from EV-D68 occur each year in the United States. Healthcare professionals are not required to report this information to health departments. Also, CDC does not have a surveillance system that specifically collects information on EV-D68 infections. Any data that CDC receives about EV-D68 infections or outbreaks are voluntarily provided by labs to CDC’s National Enterovirus Surveillance System (NESS). This system collects limited data, focusing on circulating types of enteroviruses and parechoviruses.

Q: What time of the year are people most likely to get infected?

A: In general, the spread of enteroviruses is often quite unpredictable, and different types of enteroviruses can be common in different years with no particular pattern. In the United States, people are more likely to get infected with enteroviruses in the summer and fall.

We’re currently in middle of the enterovirus season, and EV-D68 infections are likely to decline later in the fall.

Keep your child from getting and spreading Enterovirus D68

Q: Who is at risk?

A: In general, infants, children, and teenagers are most likely to get infected with enteroviruses and become ill. That’s because they do not yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures to these viruses.  We believe this is also true for EV-D68.

Among the EV-D68 cases in Missouri and Illinois, children with asthma seemed to have a higher risk for severe respiratory illness.

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Q: How is it diagnosed?

A: EV-D68 can only be diagnosed by doing specific lab tests on specimens from a person’s nose and throat.

Many hospitals and some doctor’s offices  can test ill patients to see if they have enterovirus infection. However, most cannot do specific testing to determine the type of enterovirus, like EV-D68. Some state health departments and CDC can do this sort of testing.

CDC recommends that clinicians only consider EV-D68 testing for patients with severe respiratory illness and when the cause is unclear.

Respiratory illnesses can be caused by many different viruses and have similar symptoms. Not all respiratory illnesses occurring now are due to EV-D68. Anyone with respiratory illness should contact their doctor if they are having difficulty breathing, or if their symptoms are getting worse.

Q: What are the treatments?

A: There is no specific treatment for people with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.

For mild respiratory illness, you can help relieve symptoms by taking over-the-counter medications for pain and fever. Aspirin should not be given to children.

Some people with severe respiratory illness may need to be hospitalized .

There are no antiviral medications currently available for people who become infected with EV-D68.

Q: How can I protect myself?

A: You can help protect yourself from respiratory illnesses by following these steps:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

Also, see an graphic  that shows these  prevention steps.

Since people with asthma are higher risk for respiratory illnesses, they should regularly take medicines and maintain control of their illness during this time. They should also take advantage of influenza vaccine since people with asthma have a difficult time with respiratory illnesses.

Q: What should people with asthma and children suffering from reactive airway disease do?

A: CDC recommends:

  • discuss and update your asthma action plan with your primary care provider.
  • take your prescribed asthma medications as directed, especially long term control medication(s).
  • be sure to keep your reliever medication with you.
  • if you develop new or worsening asthma symptoms, follow the steps of your asthma action plan. If your symptoms do not go away, call your doctor right away.
  • parents should make sure the child’s caregiver and/or teacher is aware of his/her condition, and that they know how to help if the child experiences any symptoms related to asthma.

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Q: Is there a vaccine?

A: No. There are no vaccines for preventing EV-D68 infections.

Q: What should clinicians do?

A: Clinicians should

  • consider EV-D68 as a possible cause of acute, unexplained severe respiratory illness, even if the patient does not have fever.
  • ensure that the patient has an asthma action plan. Reinforce use of this plan, including adherence to prescribed long-term control medication. Encourage people with asthma who are experiencing an exacerbation to seek care early. See Asthma Care Quick Reference. Adobe PDF file [12 pages, from the National Institutes of Health]External Web Site Icon
  • report suspected clusters of severe respiratory illness to local and state health departments. EV-D68 is not nationally notifiable, but state and local health departments may have additional guidance on reporting.
  • consider laboratory testing of respiratory specimens for enteroviruses when the cause of respiratory illness in severely ill patients is unclear.
  • consider testing to confirm the presence of EV-D68. State health departments can be approached for diagnostic and molecular typing for enteroviruses.

Before sending specimens for diagnostic and molecular typing:

  • contact your state or local health department.
  • submit specimens (nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs are preferred or any other type of respiratory specimens) using CDC instructions and complete specimen submission form 50.34.
  • complete a patient summary form  for each patient for whom specimens are being submitted. Please send a printed copy of the form at the same time as specimen submission.
  • follow infection control measures; see health alert for more information.

Q: What is CDC doing about EV-D68?

A: CDC is helping states with diagnostic and molecular typing for EV-D68.

CDC is also working with state and local health departments and clinical and state laboratories to

  • enhance their capacity to identify and investigate outbreaks, and
  • perform diagnostic and molecular typing tests to improve detection of enteroviruses and enhance surveillance.

http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html

 

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