Dr. Todd Harris

Influenza (Flu) Vaccine at RCAM UPDATE

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

RCAM Official Image of Flu Season 2016-2017

December 14, 2016 – Beneath the RCAM Official Image for Flu Season 2016-2017, we make the following announcement:

RCAM now has enough both state and private flu vaccine to cover our flu vaccine clinics for all our patients. If you haven’t already done so, call today and set up an appointment for your child to get their flu vaccine.

Two things:

  1. It is not too late: So far – and this is similar to most years – we have seen very few cases of influenza (flu) in our office. We are in the single digits at RCAM for total flu cases …so far. January and February are typically when we see the most patients with flu. For this reason, there is still time to get your child the best protection that we know of against the flu. 
  2. Yes, it is later than usual for us to begin widely offering state flu vaccine (but see #1; not too late): By report, the flooding in the east greatly delayed the shipment of state flu vaccine – at Raleigh Childrens and throughout North Carolina. Our allotments came in small numbers – only enough to keep up with patients who happened to be here for a checkup or similar. Yesterday we finally received a more typical volume of state flu vaccine and therefore today we make this announcement.

Unfortunately, there are unpleasant things about the winter that we can’t do much to prevent. Things like ‘cold’ viruses, ice storms, the fact that every morning your bed feels so much better than wherever you need to be – these are things that just can’t be stopped.

Flu vaccine is the best thing we know to limit your chance of catching a difficult if not dangerous respiratory illness. Get your child vaccinated.


Dr. Todd Harris

Banner Change: Fall Edition

Written by Dr. Todd Harris


September 25, 2016 – As we acclimate to a new school year – as the flow of school forms slows from Code Red Status to a light trickle – Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine welcomes the fall season.

The new season also means it is time to switch up our banner. And that makes sense too – because isn’t the image of a goggled-swimming little girl very appropriate for the summer months but intolerable as we begin to feel that crisp, cool nip in the air.

Cue pictures of children playing in leaves.

Ahhh. Now doesn’t this feel better.

When If we hit 90 again, maybe we’ll put the pool pic back up.

A few things about flu vaccine for this year:

  • Get your child a flu vaccine. As we prepare for the upcoming flu season, we want to make flu vaccine available for as many as we can. We recommend it for just about all of our patients – some more than others (those more at risk for complications from catching the flu like our youngest patients and our patients with chronic conditions like asthma are most recommended to get the flu vaccine).
  • As announced earlier, we have plenty of privately-supplied flu vaccine and have begun scheduling flu vaccination clinics.
  • We anticipate having state-supplied flu vaccine in the next few weeks. We will make that known as soon as we have it.
  • Finally, the Flumist nasal spray vaccine is not available this year.

Have a healthy and productive fall.


Dr. Todd Harris

Influenza (Flu) Vaccine at RCAM for 2016-17

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

Beach umbrellas WS

August 31, 2016 -This image is presented in memory of the summer of 2016.

With traditional calendar schools getting started this week – as we are forced to remove ourselves from our beach chair – whether that is real thing for you or if you are stepping away from some imaginary beach chair – we now face the stark reality of limited time off, kids in school, tight schedules, and… egads… the upcoming flu season 2016-2017.

Beginning September 1st, RCAM has enough flu vaccine supply to begin inoculations for the upcoming 2016-2017 flu season. Please keep reading because there are two important things to know about the start of our flu vaccination efforts:

  1. We have plenty privately-supplied flu vaccine, but – for circumstances beyond our control – we have not received our state-supplied flu vaccine. This does not affect patients who have private insurance (like BCBS,Cigna, United, etc.) or who plan to pay cash for their flu vaccine. Unfortunately, this delay does impact our patients who receive state-supplied flu vaccine – namely, the uninsured and those with Medicaid insurance. We expect to get state-supplied flu vaccine but we do not know exactly when that will happen. We will update when it does.
  2. There will be no Flumist nasal spray-type vaccine offered this year. We will only be offering the “flu shot” this year.

Click here for more details about those two details.

You are free to call and schedule to get your children their flu shot in one of our flu vaccine nurse clinics.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the pediatricians at RCAM recommend that just about everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine every year.



Dr. Ben Meares

Press Release For August 31, 2016:

“As of September 1st, RCAM is giving flu shots to those with private insurance.”

Private-Supplied Flu Vaccine:

For those patients who have private insurance, we have received our shipment of flu vaccine and can begin giving those shots. (Private insurance is through a company such as BCBS, United Healthcare, Cigna, etc.)

State-Supplied Flu Vaccine:

For those who are insured by Medicaid or are uninsured, flu vaccine is supplied by the State of North Carolina.  We have NOT yet received this supply of flu vaccines, so we CANNOT begin vaccinating patients in this group yet.  We have no control over this and have no way to predict when we will receive it.  We will start as soon as we can get our supply of vaccines, so stay tuned.

While we dislike separating these two groups, we simply have to get started using the vaccine we have.

Also Important to Note: 

This year, FluMist will not be available. As you may have heard in the news, FluMist has not been as effective in the past two years.  The reason for this is being investigated, but for now, FluMist is not recommended and is not available.  This year, we are “stuck” with the shot!

The flu vaccine is recommended for all of our patients.  If you are interested in getting your child a flu vaccine, please call our office for an appointment.

Dr. Ben Meares

The State of NC provides vaccines for people who are uninsured or are insured by the State’s Medicaid program. This allows us to give vaccines to people who are not commercially-insured. As you may have heard, flu vaccines are in short supply this year.

As of 11/5/15, RCAM currently has Flu SHOTS for patients younger than 3 years old and a few doses of FLUMIST. We currently do NOT have Flu Shots for patients who are at least 3 years old. We are at the mercy of the State program, so we do not know when or if we will get a better supply. Please stay tuned for updates.

Given the environment this year, it’s not a bad idea to seek out a flu vaccine elsewhere. The Wake County Health Department (Health and Human Services) gives flu vaccine at their clinic:

Wake County Health Department; 919-250-3900; Note: Only walk-ins and only on Thursdays; Clinic E from 9am-3pm and at Info Desk from 3pm-7pm (bring insurance card).

Dr. Ben Meares

Shot Box

Our flu vaccine clinics are currently open to ALMOST EVERYONE  (the notable exception: state-supplied vaccine is limited- see below). We have a small supply of FluMist and a larger supply of Flu Shots.

October 26, 2015 – As you have likely heard, the manufacturer of FluMist has had significant production problems this year. We, therefore, have been able to get very little so far. We do expect to get more shipments as the fall goes by, but we have no way of knowing when those will be.

As such, please be advised: We may not have FluMist available when you arrive at your Flu Vaccine Clinic appointment. We will not know ahead of time, so please be ready to be flexible and get the Shot if FluMist is not available.

If a Flu Vaccine Clinic Appointment is not available when you call, please be patient. We can only schedule appointments for flu vaccine if we know the vaccine is actually here/available. Due to the limited supply of FluMist, we will run out of all flu vaccine this year. As such, we are still supportive of patients getting it elsewhere. A list of options is available here.

Update November 5, 2015 State-supplied vaccine:  Important information for those who are uninsured or are insured via the State’s Medicaid program is here.

Dr. Todd Harris

Get Your Flu Shot

If you are unable to get your flu vaccine at RCAM, here are some alternative sites that offer flu vaccine to children (listed by ages they provide flu vaccine):

  • Ages 6 months and up:

    1. Wake County Health Department; 919-250-3900; Notes: Only walk-ins and only on Thursdays; Clinic E from 9am-3pm and at Info Desk from 3pm-7pm (bring insurance card)
    2. Pediatric Express Urgent Care (website); 919-373-2998; 6402 McCrimmon Pkwy, Ste 300, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Ages 18 months and up:

    1. CVS Minute Clinic
  • Ages 2 years and up:

    1. Target Clinic
  • Ages 3 years and up:

    1. WakeMed Urgent Care – formerly Accent Urgent Care; 919-789-4322; 2406 Blue Ridge Rd #190, Raleigh, NC 27607
  • Ages 14 years and up:

    1. CVS Pharmacy
    2. Target Pharmacy
    3. Walgreens Pharmacy
    4. Rite Aid Pharmacy

NOTE: RCAM prefers that all pediatric medical care be rendered by your child’s medical home for consistency and continuity of care and medical record. However, we also recognize that is not always possible, and, for the purpose of getting a flu vaccine, these are sound resources.

Dr. Ben Meares

End of Summer Framed

August 26, 2015 – School has begun. As we wonder where our summer went, here comes talk in the news about flu and the sidewalk signs are beginning to appear in front of our pharmacies telling us its time to get our flu shot.

A few initial thoughts about flu vaccine as RCAM looks to the 2015-16 flu season:

  • The CDC and the pediatricians at RCAM recommend that just about everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine every year.
  • If your child is under the age of 9 years old and getting the vaccine for the first time, plan to get two doses at least a month apart.
  • Get the flu vaccine but avoid getting a shot! FluMist nasal spray can be given to healthy children who are at least 2 years old and don’t have an underlying chronic illness.
  • The regular flu shot will also be available for anyone over 6 months old.
  • RCAM will likely begin flu vaccination at the end of September or October. Follow this blog – watch our Facebook or Twitter pages – we will get the word out as we begin to offer flu vaccine.