How I Broke the Law for 90 seconds

I generally stay out of politics for the same reason I don’t fly airplanes: I will not mess around with things I don’t fully understand where someone may get hurt.  Laws, as they apply to medicine, tend to run with a steamroller over problems best attacked with a scalpel, and the fewer of those we have, the fewer patients will suffer the consequences.  I have a story of a little girl who got better in spite of laws to the contrary.

It was 10 minutes to seven PM.  The mother ran in, scattering tears, clutching her little 2-year-old daughter, upset beyond words.  She had just picked her up from day care, and as she started to change her diaper –

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Flu vaccine availability update

As usual, it is a bit complicated:

Fluzone (injectable, dead, inactivated vaccine):

between 6 months and 3 years of age — available both VFC and non-VFC (comes in 0.25 ml syringes)

over 3 years of age — available non-VFC only

 reminder: the VFC program covers children and adolescents who are either uninsured or have a government-funded insurance or Medicaid, up to their 19th birthday.  VFC vaccines are supplied free of charge, but are often shipped later than commercially purchased vaccines.  Insurances do NOT pay for immunizations for VFC-eligible patients.


Flumist (live, attenuated vaccine administered as nasal spray, for persons ages 2 to 49 years who do not have a significant chronic illness)

We have non-VFC Flumist.  As usual, we expect a delay in the shipment of the VFC vaccine.

 Flu and flu vaccine will of course be in the news shortly; some news will be at least generally accurate while others will exhibit varying degrees of departure from reality. 

 On a different note, I would like to thank the military families who have joined our practice recently.  The response to my War and Peace editorial has been astounding, and the thought that they might see in our work a fleeting reminder of the dedication and professionalism their loved ones show daily in harm’s way is an inspiration. 


Anatoly Belilovsky, MD