Pediatric Updates

Fall 2023 Update from Premier Pediatrics!

  • Vaccine updates - Flu, RSV, Covid
  • Approaching sick season - office reminders

Hello! We hope you are all settling into a great school year and enjoying the slightly cooler temperatures this fall. We wanted to share a few reminders and vaccine updates - as always, feel free to reach out to us with any other questions.

Beyfortus (RSV antibody)

Beyfortus is a recombinant human monoclonal antibody designed to protect infants from severe RSV disease. This type of antibody is laboratory-made, is delivered by injection, and then circulates and protects the baby for about 5 months. This is different from a vaccine where a part of a virus or bacteria is presented to the immune system which triggers the body to make its own antibodies that may circulate much longer, even a lifetime. This difference is called passive vs. active immunity.

What is RSV? RSV is a very contagious respiratory virus that typically begins as a minor cold but can progress to a lower respiratory tract infection causing labored breathing, hypoxia (low oxygen), and even apnea (pauses in breathing). It is the leading cause of hospitalization in babies under 1 year of age.

Who is eligible for Beyfortus? Both term and preterm newborns born during RSV season and all infants entering their first RSV season. Children up to 24 months who remain vulnerable to severe RSV disease are eligible during their second season as well. This includes preterm babies, babies with chronic lung disease, congenital heart disease, and other complex medical conditions.

RSV season is typically November through March. One single dose of Beyfortus will be given in the fall which will last through that season.

Where can I get my child vaccinated? We are in the process of determining how soon we can carry Beyfortus in our practice. We are also in touch with local hospitals, pharmacies, and specialist offices in the area to determine the best approach for immunizing our newborns and older infants. Stay tuned - we hope to have news very soon.

Influenza (flu shot!)

Flu vaccines have arrived and are ready for use! It is recommended for all children, age 6 months and up. Children under 5 years and those with underlying medical problems (including asthma) are at higher risk for severe disease. Options for administration:

  • You can ask for a flu shot at any regularly scheduled office visit. It should not be given if your child has had a fever in the last 24 hours, but otherwise, it is safe to give during mild illnesses.
  • Starting 9/30, Flu shots will be available Saturday morning at the Southwest Medical Village office BY APPOINTMENT ONLY from 8 - 10 am. Call the office or send a portal message for an appointment. These are not available for online booking. Parents can also receive their vaccines at that time if desired.
  • In addition to the 2 options above, nurse visits can be scheduled on Wednesdays and Thursdays at our Bee Cave office - parents can also receive their vaccines at that time if desired. You can call for an appointment or send a message through the portal and we can help you to schedule.

COVID-19 Monovalent Booster

The latest COVID booster targeting the omicron subvariant is now available and recommended by the CDC for all ages. We do not carry COVID vaccines in our office, however, most local pharmacies will have it available in the next few weeks. Many local Walgreens and CVS pharmacies are already administering it for patients 12 years and older. The pediatric doses should be arriving in the next couple of weeks. Dripping Springs Pharmacy continues to be our preferred pharmacy for infants and young children. They do require a prescription so please contact our office and we will send that over for you electronically. It is recommended to keep the same brand as previous doses, so if you are calling for an order, please let our phone team know whether your child has previously received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Below is information on dosing, feel free to reach out if you have specific questions about your child.

  1. If your child has had COVID infection in the past 3 months, it’s reasonable to wait at least 3 months before getting this updated vaccine. Natural disease likely offers protection for 3 months and the immune response to the vaccine may be better.
  2. For unvaccinated children ages 6 months to under 5 years, the updated vaccine series is 2 doses of Moderna or 3 doses of Pfizer vaccine.
  3. For unvaccinated children ages 5 years and up, the updated vaccine is 1 dose of Moderna or 1 dose of Pfizer vaccine. (The rationale is that older children are more likely to have had a previous infection. This primes the immune system to have a better response to a single dose of vaccine.)
  4. Previously vaccinated children ages 6 months and up are encouraged to get 1 dose of the updated vaccine at least 2 months after the last time they were vaccinated.

Brief office updates as we enter cold/flu season

Many of you will be happy to hear that we are no longer using our luxurious accommodations in the back hallway for sick patients! Everyone will come through the front door, and we have a smaller “cocooned” area for well children to separate from sick children. We do ask that sick patients wear a mask out of respect for our youngest, oldest, and most fragile patients in the office. Please do not share your opinions on this with our sweet front desk staff, as they don’t make the rules :)

Remember that your favorite pediatric team spends our Saturday mornings at our main location on Eiger Rd at the Southwest Medical Village seeing sick patients. We are there from 8 am to 12 pm and would love to see you there! Please call for an appointment if needed.

Summer 2023 Update from Premier Pediatrics!

Hello to our amazing families! It’s HERE…that LONG home stretch to summer! Boy are we READY and I’m sure you are too! Here are some practice updates and friendly reminders of things coming up in the next few months to help you plan ahead.

Do you have a rising 7th grader? An athlete? A teenager? A summer camper? Are you traveling internationally this summer? Please keep reading! This update is for YOU!

Sports Physical Updates:

If your child will be participating in sports, cheer/dance, marching band, or athletics ANY season during the next school year, they will need a sports physical. Insurance DOES NOT COVER fees for sports physicals. To avoid paying out of pocket for this service, please complete and bring your portion of your school form to your child’s annual well-check appointment this spring or summer and we will fill it out for you for no extra charge.

The current charge for sports physicals is $50 and will be increasing to $100 in October. This is in line with other local practices and urgent cares.

**HERE IS THE KEY TO AVOIDING THIS EXPENSE** - If your child typically does their well check during the school year, skip it this year. If you have any concerns about their health, we are happy to do an office visit to address those concerns specifically. Schedule their next check-up between May and July next summer and we will complete the sports/camp forms at that time. Alternatively, you can take advantage of your school’s sports PE day on campus which is typically very inexpensive.

Is your child going to camp this summer?

Generally speaking, as long as your child is up to date on their vaccinations and had a Well Child exam in the last 12 months, we can sign off on your camp forms for the summer WITHOUT a visit. Feel free to upload them to the portal or drop them by the office. There is a $15 fee to complete those. If your child is due for their annual Well Child Exam, just schedule an appointment and bring your camp forms with you and we’ll sign them at the appointment. Please help us by completing the health history and list any medications that you plan to send to camp with your child BEFORE you drop off forms. Thank you!

Is your family planning to travel internationally this summer?

We are so happy to see our patients traveling the world again! Certain destinations require additional vaccines, malaria prophylaxis, preventative antibiotics, etc. A visit is required to determine your needs, either in person or virtually. Please plan on completing this 2 - 4 weeks prior to your trip to ensure time for your vaccines and medications to be fully effective.

Teen vaccine schedule: Vaccine reminders for the pre-teens/teens in your house.

11-12 years old: Tdap, Menquadfi (Meningitis), and HPV vaccines are due at this age. If you have a rising 7th grader, the Tdap and Menactra will be REQUIRED prior to getting their fall class schedules. While HPV is not required for school, it is highly recommended. More than 270 million doses have been given worldwide over the last 20 years. We are confident that it works and it is safe! It is given at this age because the immune system responds best, not because the children are exposed to the virus at this time.

16-18 years old: Dose 2 of Menquadfi, as well as 2 doses of Trumenba (an additional strain of meningitis - type B), are due. Although they will not be required until college, the incidence of meningitis increases starting at age 15 so we recommend getting those as soon as possible. College requirements vary as far as additional testing (TB, labs, etc). We are happy to review your campus paperwork and help you to get that accomplished.

We look forward to seeing you soon! Please schedule any needed appointments early as availability can be limited later in the summer!

We hope you all have a good rest of the school year and a great summer ahead!

Dr. Thompson, Dr. Lye, and Kristin

Baby and Little Kid Covid-19 Vaccine and Booster News!

The Covid-19 vaccine has now been approved by the FDA and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC for children 6 months - 5 years of age! There are 2 vaccines available for this age group-the Pfizer and Moderna. The Pfizer vaccine is a 3-dose series and the Moderna is currently a 2-dose series, but they are studying the 3rd dose and we wouldn’t be surprised if they recommend an additional dose when the studies are complete. Both are equally effective in reducing hospitalization and severe disease and its complications. The AAP does not recommend one brand over the other. Though historically, most children do handle infection with Covid-19 well, there were more hospitalizations noted in young children with the recent Omicron variant than previous variants before it. Covid infection also hospitalized more young children during the Omicron wave than the flu does each year, reinforcing the importance of vaccinating this age group.

The vaccine was well tolerated in the studies. Similar to older children and adults, some mild flu-like symptoms or low-grade fever were noted after vaccination. Symptoms (including fever) did not last more than 1-2 days. There were no severe complications observed (allergic reactions, heart inflammation, or other serious problems).

Due to limited interest in receiving the vaccine for children 5-11 in our office, we were not able to use all of the vaccines we ordered before they expired. As a result, we have elected not to order the baby/little kid vaccine at this time. There are a couple of places we recommend going to vaccinate your little ones.

**Dell Children’s Hospital is holding a vaccine clinic on 3 upcoming dates: June 29, July 9, and July 17 at a couple of different locations. Click here for more details.

Texas Children’s Specialty Clinic on North Mopac will offer the vaccine to children 6 months and older. You can schedule an appointment by clicking here.

HEB Pharmacy: HEB has recently started advertising that they will have the vaccine available in select stores soon for children 3 years and older. Appointment required, schedule online.

Walgreens: Walgreens pharmacies are advertising they will administer the vaccine for children 3 years and older starting 6/25 by appointment only. Check their website for additional information.

CVS: CVS pharmacies will be vaccinating children 18 months and older at their Minute Clinic locations only. You must make an appointment through the Minute Clinic for children 18 months-4 years and 11 months of age. 5 years and older can schedule through the regular pharmacy. Our local Lakeway location has a Minute Clinic in the store.

Lake Hills Pharmacy: No vaccine information yet for ages 6 months - 5 years.

Don’t forget about Vaccine Boosters for your older kiddos!

One booster dose is now recommended for any child 5 years and older that have already completed a 2-shot series. The booster dose can be given 5 months after the 2nd dose. Any of the above locations, including Dell Children’s, can administer the booster dose to your older children while you’re there with your little ones!

We hope this email finds you well and was helpful. Please let us know if you have any further questions, and enjoy the rest of the summer!

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