Hello, I must start off by apologizing for going so long without a single blog post. I had good intentions, unfortunately I am not a writer and finding time to write a blog post was not at the top of my priority list. I struggle to write effectively and I struggle to make my words sound right. I am always reading and re-reading my words and then it takes what should have been a 30 minute blog session into a 3 hour proof reading session. I am going to try not to do that today, so please forgive me for the grammatical errors and words that may not make sense.

I want to start a series on vaccines. This topic is very controversial and is an individual choice. I respect that choice and honestly, I understand it, well to some degree. I do struggle to understand why people do not get vaccinated for pneumonia and I will continue to be a big supporter of the vaccine series. I won’t put up roadblocks if you tell me you don’t want a flu shot, but I may lay down before you and hold tightly to your left leg until you agree to get that pneumonia vaccine. Why? Why care that much about someone else’s health? Why be so passionate about a vaccine that some say could be life threatening? I say pneumonia is life threatening!! I care about you and your health. I want you to live a long healthy life, and sometimes that means prevention. I will fight for you, I will fight to help you understand that the benefits far outweigh the risks. Lets take a look at Covid-19, what does it most commonly present itself as? It presents as pneumonia like symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever and cough. So how do we distinguish between pneumonia and Covid-19? That is a difficult question, and honestly without getting tested I don’t think one would know. You can help determine what could be wrong with you if you were to sadly come down with these symptoms. You want to know how?? Get VACCINATED! I do not want to spend too much time in this blog post writing about the pneumonia vaccine. I want to save that for another time. I do want to share with you the symptoms of influenza, the different types of vaccines available and the out of pocket cost.

How do I know if I might have the flu? Flu symptoms include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle and body aches, and fatigue. Hmmm….sounds a lot like Covid-19 symptoms. I do want to make it clear that the “stomach flu” is a completely different illness and actually isn’t the flu at all. The “stomach flu” is a virus that is known as gastroenteritis that is a viral intestinal infection that can cause nasty nausea, vomiting and diarrhea but is completely unrelated to the seasonal flu. This year in 2020, there are several types of flu vaccines available. The most notable difference is that all vaccines are quadrivalent this year. You ask what does that mean? Basically it means that there are two strains of A virus and two strains of B virus in the vaccine. In years past, we have seen the use of the trivalent flu vaccine which is two strains of A virus and one strain of B virus. Why the difference? The B virus use to be thought to occur more often in children, while older at risk adults were more susceptible to the A virus. Now, new data suggests the B virus also puts older adults at risk so the developed quad vaccine is slowly becoming the standard and the trivalent vaccine is slowly being replaced. There are also two vaccines targeted for patients who are 65 years of age or older. One vaccine is known as the high-dose vaccine, while the other is the quadrivalent vaccine with adjuvant. For simplicity sake all you need to know is that both vaccines are designed to produce are higher immune response in patients over age 65. There are also vaccines that are made from cells and vaccines made from eggs, this is because some patients have an egg allergy and cannot take certain flu vaccines safely. This year we will also see the Flumist available which is a nasal vaccine approved for patients aged 2 through 49. Most of these vaccines cost anywhere between $40 to $70 cash price, but most insurances cover these vaccines at your local pharmacy. Patients with Medicare part B will see that these vaccines are covered at 100%. If you are unsure if your insurance will cover a vaccine, stop by your local pharmacy and have them run a test claim to see if the vaccine is covered under insurance. You DO NOT need a prescription to be vaccinated, just stop in the pharmacy and get vaccinated. It is that simple, I promise!

Who should get vaccinated? Everyone age 6 months and older should be vaccinated in my opinion. Our family gets vaccinated every year. You can ask our girls and they will tell you that mommy gives the best shots! It is true, your friendly pharmacist gives a great shot, don’t be afraid to get one. It is really important for patients with underlying health conditions to get vaccinated. If you are diabetic, a smoker, have high blood pressure or heart disease, have asthma or COPD, or if you are over weight then you are considered high risk and MUST get vaccinated. The vaccine is about 40 to 60% effective. Yes, you can still get the flu even if you get vaccinated, but your symptoms will be much less than a patient who didn’t get vaccinated. Will the vaccine make me sick?? Absolutely NOT! People who tell me that have probably had a bad experience earlier in life, either they got the vaccine and were already exposed to the flu and then developed the sickness within the first 2 weeks of being vaccinated. The vaccine doesn’t take effect for 14 days after receiving it. You are still at risk until day 14, so no it isn’t the vaccine, you would have gotten sick anyway. Is the vaccine safe? I would say that of all the vaccines on the market, this one is the safest one around. I have gotten a flu shot yearly for the past 20 years and have not had the flu (let me find some wood to knock on). Our girls have gotten the flu shot yearly since birth and they are perfectly healthy and have never suffered from the flu.

If you are on the fence about getting a flu shot, let me tell you that this is the year to do it. Today alone, I gave 10 flu shots and 2 were given to patients who had never been vaccinated in their lives. How awesome is that? It is wonderful to see people taking charge of their health and not put themselves at risk because someone didn’t wear a mask to the grocery store. Please think about getting vaccinated. If you have questions, please email me ( and I will be more than happy to answer your questions about vaccines.

Until next time,

Dr. Jen


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We at M&J Dispatch, LLC are a small business whose mission is to help small trucking companies take their company to the next level. Our focus is on small trucking companies that have less than 10 trucks and are in need of finding freight at the best price. Our truck dispatchers know the business better than anyone and are experts at finding the highest paying load helping you make the money you deserve. Our team of highly trained dispatchers will take care of all the paperwork, phone calls, and payments so all you have to do is DRIVE.