September 14, 2023
Dear NAP Families,
We hope you are settling into the routine of the fall with kids back in school and cooler days ahead. There have been a few exciting developments regarding vaccines that we wanted to make everyone aware of.
First, there is an updated Covid vaccine just in time for the back-to-school germ fest! Earlier this week, the CDC advised stopping the use of the previous “bivalent” vaccine and is planning to make the updated vaccine available in the very near future. Once we have received the new vaccine, we will be holding Covid and flu vaccine clinics for any patient 18 years and younger who would like this updated protection, or you can access the vaccine at your local pharmacy.
Next, the annual flu vaccine has arrived, yay!! We encourage ALL patients to get their flu vaccine every year as it is proven to be safe and effective at preventing the flu in about 50-60% of vaccinated children, and reducing the risk of hospitalization and death by about 75%! Last year, 90% of the children who died from the flu were unvaccinated, and about half of these were healthy kids with no high risk conditions. We will be holding our first flu-only vaccine clinic on 9/30/23 from 10:00am – 2:20pm. You can book your appointment on the MyChart portal. We will announce more flu and Covid vaccine clinic dates as we finalize these details. There are also several community sites that will be offering the flu vaccine over the next few months (see below).
Finally, there is a new RSV preventive treatment that has been approved by the FDA for all infants during their first RSV season (8 months or younger by October), and high risk children during their second season. This is not a vaccine, but a one-time injectable monoclonal antibody similar to what has been used for many years in the high risk infant population. We are very excited that this life-saving treatment will be available to all infants very soon! We are following the approval process closely and plan to order this medication as soon as it becomes available.
On a different note, there continues to be shortages of many ADHD medications and it is impossible for our office to know which pharmacy has which medication in stock on any given day. Please call your preferred pharmacy to confirm they have your child’s medication before requesting a refill if at all possible. If a refill is sent to a pharmacy and it is out of stock, we ask that you call to find an alternative pharmacy that does have the medication before calling us to have it resent. This will allow us to get your child their medication as quickly as possible. Our staff does not have the resources to call pharmacies on your behalf as there are so many patients in this situation right now. We appreciate your help with this.
All of us at NAP want to thank our families again for their kindness, respect, and patience when interacting with our staff. Unfortunately, not all who call or visit our office show this respect consistently and when this happens it is very distressful to our team members who are trying their best to help. There continue to be instances of profanity, threats, and other rude behaviors directed at our staff. This behavior will not be tolerated and will be reported to our management so that a decision can be made about consequences, potentially resulting in being discharged from the practice. You can find our patient behavior policy on our website (www.napeds.com). We must foster a safe and respectful environment for everyone under our care, patients and employees alike, and cannot permit these behaviors to continue.
Take care and stay well!
Northampton Area Pediatrics
Community Flu Vaccine Information and Dates:
- Ages 2+ are eligible
- Vaccine administration will be uploaded to MIIS
- Will administer only the Flu vaccine (will have separate COVID clinics)
- Registration link: https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/northampton
- If someone needs assistance registering, they can call 413-587-1314
- Although we encourage pre-registration, walk-ins will be accommodated
- We will vaccinate all eligible community members, regardless of their insurance status. No one will be turned away if they don’t have insurance.
Middlefield Town Hall
Northampton Senior Center
Plainfield Public Safety Building
Hatfield Senior Center
Hadley Senior Center
Easthampton Public Safety Building (Drive Thru)
Easthampton Senior Center
Smith Vocational High School (Drive Thru)
November 15 (Pending need)
Northampton– Council Chambers