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Exciting Updates and Back to School Reminders

August 27, 2023

Hello NAP Families,

What a wonderful, albeit soggy, summer this has been! The start of school is just around the corner and we thought it was a good time to send a few quick reminders about illness prevention and office protocols as we head into this busy season.

1. Flu/COVID clinics: we are planning to hold combination Flu and COVID clinics this fall in our Amherst office as we do each year. We do not have dates for these yet as we are awaiting final word on when the flu vaccines will be available. We will send another message as soon as we have more info!

2. COVID vaccine – to boost or not to boost? This has been a big question recently, as many kids are eligible for the COVID bivalent booster but there is also talk of a newer version of the vaccine on the horizon for this fall. The new version is still based primarily on the Omicron variant but slightly adjusted from the Omicron coverage of the previous bivalent vaccine. We feel the decision to get a booster as soon as possible versus waiting until the new one is available is a personal one based on each family’s risk for severe COVID and risk-tolerance level. For example, if you have a high risk person in your family and are nervous about getting COVID with kids starting back at school, go ahead and get your child’s booster now. If your child had a COVID infection in the past 1-2 years and there are no high risk members of your family, they likely have some natural Omicron immunity and it may make more sense to wait. If you have specific questions about your child’s circumstance please reach out to your PCP via the portal.

3. School health forms: If your child has had a physical in the past year you can access their health form on the portal and provide it to the school or sports organizations when needed. You must be on a desktop to save and print the form, however. It does not print from the app version of the portal.

4. Form requests from NAP: Our policy for any requested forms is that they be filled out to the best of your ability before bringing them to the office, and then allow us 10 business days to complete them and return them to you. Please plan ahead if you have any forms you need from us as this is a busy time of year and we are not typically able to accommodate a request for a faster turnaround.

And now for an exciting announcement – we have two new pediatricians joining us this fall!! Dr. Kristin Lynch and Dr. Amanda Dickerson are incredible, experienced pediatricians who share NAP’s values and commitment to the health and well being of our patients. They are very excited to meet our wonderful families and we know they are going to be an amazing addition to NAP. Please see our website for their pictures and bios – coming soon!

We wish you all a happy and healthy start to the new school year,

Northampton Area Pediatrics