flu shots now available for all people ages 7 and older
As flu season approaches, Dayton Children’s is launching a new initiative to keep children healthier. Dayton Children’s pharmacies at both main and south campuses will offer the flu vaccine to anyone age 7 and older.
This program grew out of a pilot study last year in which we surveyed every family who came to us to see if their child had received the flu vaccine. Less than 30 percent of children who came to Dayton Children’s for any reason were vaccinated against the flu.
“That is a disturbing low percentage,” says Sherman Alter, MD, chief, division of infectious disease. “The flu is a very serious and even deadly illness, especially for children with chronic illnesses, such as asthma. Getting the flu vaccine is one of the easiest ways to protect children and families from further illness so we couldn’t get information like that and not do something about it.”
“As Dayton Children’s mission is the relentless pursuit of optimal health for every child within our reach, we knew that we had to be a part of the solution to this problem,” says Deborah Feldman, president and CEO. “While we will always recommend a family go to their primary care physician for their flu vaccination, we also know busy families need options. We hope that by offering a convenient alternative while they are with us, we can substantially increase the rate of flu vaccinations and collectively keep our children healthier.”
How will it work?
It will be similar to going to a pharmacy in any retail outlet for a vaccine, except that with pediatric training and tools, Dayton Children’s pharmacists are specially equipped to make vaccination as easy as possible. They will bill a family’s insurance company and send the documentation back to the primary care physician for inclusion in a child’s medical records. Dayton Children' pharmacies can also accept children with Medicaid, which many pharmacies can not.
Families will be informed of this new offering when they register at Dayton Children’s in the emergency department, for an outpatient visit or for an inpatient stay. They can visit the pharmacy any time it is open to receive the flu vaccination.
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