A Shot of Prevention for Flu Season

Thursday was flu shot day for me.

This year, I went to CVS Minute Clinic instead of getting my flu shot at work.  Hospital  policy makes it mandatory that all employees get a flu shot so that we do not expose our patients to the flu.

Minute Clinic was a new experience for me. Since my family is in the medical world, it has always been easy for me to drop by my doctor’s office for a quick shot in the arm so to speak.

CVS simplified my Fall routine. They offered me an opportunity to get a “complimentary” flu shot, which turned out to be a great convenience. Because I have a history mitral valve problems, a flu shot is highly recommended and I take my health very seriously.

Upon arriving at  a CVS, not too far from my home…I had to check in on the Minute Clinic computer in the waiting area. It was easy enough, but I could see, where it could be a problem for elderly folks, who may not have computer skills.

Five chairs were available in the waiting area. This was a good sign…it meant that they do not anticipate lengthy wait times so no need for too many seats.

My computer sign-in screen notified me, there were five people ahead of me…good information to share as it established a time frame. The nurse also told us, a few people were there only for flu shots and another nurse was expected back from lunch shortly, so the wait would not be too long.

I breathed a sigh of relief, as I had to be at school pick-up in an hour. IMG_7175

When it was my turn, the Nurse Practitioner reviewed the questions and answers from my computer profile. I signed my consent, got my vaccination, my receipt and was quickly on my way to school pick-up.

I was also given a 20% off coupon for CVS, which I will use on another visit.

This was my first time at a Minute Clinic. It was clean, efficient and friendly. I felt confident with my Nurse Practitioner. She was young, competent and nice. Since I am a nurse, it is my practice to “interview” nurses that take care of me

The real measure of a successful experience is whether or not I would feel comfortable coming to a Minute Clinic for medical care in the future ?… the answer…without reservation, YES.

Would I recommend getting a flu shot this year?..YESfor sure.



I was given a “free” flu shot from Minute Clinic…all opinions are my own as always.


Flu or Cold??? or just sick?

This is “flu” season and you can become very sick …it is epidemic in some cities. Even if you have had a flu shot you can come down with Influenza symptoms that were not covered by the “flu vaccine”.

Here in Chicago, some of the hospitals are having to turn people away from their emergency rooms and send them on to another hospital for care due to so many cases of flu.

CVS Minute Clinics can offer you the flu shot if you have not already had one…it is not too late!

CVS Minute Clinics are in many states throughout the country.

Here in Chicagoland, they are clinically affiliated with Advocate Healthcare and are staffed with nurse practitioners and or physician assistants…there may be a Minute Clinic that is convenient to you.

You do not need an appointment and your insurance may cover your visit…if you do not have insurance Minute Clinics accept several forms of payment including credit cards.

If you find yourself in need of vaccinations, a physical, wellness screen or treatment for common family illnesses, you might consider CVS Minute Clinic…if there is one available near you. Their website can also give you information and perhaps answer any questions you might have before you visit a Minute Clinic.


MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who provide treatment for common family illnesses and injuries, administer vaccinations, conduct physicals and wellness screenings, and offer monitoring for chronic conditions.

Our practitioners can:

  • Diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses such as strep throat, bladder infections, pink eye and infections of the ears, nose and throat
  • Provide common vaccinations for flu, pneumonia, pertussis, and hepatitis, among others
  • Treat minor wounds, abrasions, joint sprains and skin conditions such as poison ivy, ringworm and acne
  • Provide a wide range of wellness services, including sports and camp physicals, smoking cessation and TB testing
  • Offer routine lab tests, instant results and education for those with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or asthma

Most services are available for those age 18 months and older, but ages for specific services may vary. To see services available and age restrictions in Massachusetts, click here.

Please check the individual service, and read the following “what to know” sections before your visit.







usually present



fairly common



moderate to severe

onset of symptoms

appear gradually

can appear within 3-6 hours


hacking, productive cough

dry, unproductive cough




stuffy nose



runny nose



sore throat



general aches/pain


common, often severe

chest discomfort


often severe




I was not compensated in any way for this post…all opinions are my own.
Of course, if you are seriously injured or ill you would want to call 911 or visit your nearest Emergency Room.

Flu shot and preterm birth risk

No it isn’t flu season yet but believe it or not another one will be upon us in the not too distant future.

So it is timely news for pregnant women to know that it has been found that a pregnant woman who gets a flu shot lowers her risk of preterm delivery.

This was just released by the March of Dimes…it is good news!

Flu shot lowers preterm birth risk

Aside from helping to prevent the miseries of the flu, a flu shot during pregnancy may reduce a woman’s risk of delivering a premature baby. Every year, more than half a million babies are born prematurely in the United States. Since 1981, the premature birth rate has risen by 30 percent. Babies born just a few weeks too soon can face serious health challenges and are at risk of lifelong disabilities.

A new study reviewed data from over 4000 births over a two year time frame in the state of Georgia. Roughly 15% of pregnant women received flu shots. These women who delivered during flu season (defined as October through May) were on average 40% less likely to deliver prematurely, before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. During the peak flu season (January & February), vaccinated women were 72% less likely to deliver prematurely as opposed to unvaccinated women.  Additionally, babies born during peak flu season to mothers who were vaccinated were 69% less likely to be small for gestational age.

At other times of year (not flu season), the study found no association between flu vaccination and reduced premature birth. Because of this, the researchers believe that it is the vaccine that is offering this protection. And an earlier study found that getting the flu vaccine during pregnancy can even protect your baby after delivery.

When you’re pregnant, your immune system isn’t as quick to respond to illnesses as it was before pregnancy. Your body knows that pregnancy is OK and that it shouldn’t reject your baby. Your body naturally lowers your immune system’s ability to protect you and respond to illnesses so that it can welcome your growing baby. But a lowered immune system means you’re more likely to catch illnesses like the flu. Your lungs and heart are working harder to support you and your baby and this stress on your body also can make it more likely for you to get an illness like the flu.

For these reasons, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians and the March of Dimes all recommend women get vaccinated against the flu during pregnancy.

Tags: flu, flu shot, flu vaccine, influenza, Pregnancy, premature birth, preterm birth

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