James Liffrig, M.D.
Flu Vaccine Available at FirstHealth Convenient Care, Family Care Clinics
PINEHURST – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 5 percent and 20 percent of people in the U.S. get the flu every year. More than 200,000 are hospitalized due to complications that include pneumonia and inflammation of the heart, and thousands die.
Vaccination, according to the CDC, is the best way to prevent the flu, and James Liffrig, M.D., medical director of the FirstHealth of the Carolinas Convenient Care program, agrees.
“The flu virus changes each year so manufacturers identify and produce vaccine that work against the most prevalent types,” he says. “While the vaccine is not perfect, it is safe and offers very good protection. Even if you do get the flu after vaccination, it will likely be much less severe than if you haven’t had the vaccine.”
FirstHealth Convenient Care offices in Whispering Pines (7473-C Highway 22, Food Lion Shopping Center) and Rockingham (921 Long Drive, Suite 104) are now providing flu vaccinations to walk-in patients. Vaccinations are also available to patients at the FirstHealth family medicine, primary care and internal medicine offices at the following locations:
- 104 Professional Drive, Biscoe
- 210 E. Main St., Candor
- 112 E. Ballard St., Ellerbe
- 313 Teal Drive, Raeford
- 300 S. Middleton St., Robbins
- 104 Physicians Park Drive, Rockingham
- 921 Long Drive, Suite 101, Rockingham
- 1035-C Seven Lakes Drive, West End
- 522 Allen St., Suite 101, Troy
- 3349 US Highway 1, Vass
- 7473-B Highway 22, Whispering Pines
- 293 Olmsted Blvd., Suite 1, McCormick Building, Pinehurst
- 809 S. Long Drive, Suite H, Rockingham
- Physician Offices & Specialty Services, 6322 Fayetteville Road, Raeford
Flu is a respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms can be mild to severe and include sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, muscle or body aches, headache and fatigue.
According to Dr. Liffrig, the injectable vaccine available at the FirstHealth clinics does not include a live virus. “It’s a safe vaccine,” he says. “One cannot contract flu from the injectable vaccine that we have available.”
Everyone 6 months and older should be vaccinated, Dr. Liffrig points out, but especially those in certain high-risk populations such as people with chronic disease, pregnant women and women who have given birth within two weeks, children younger than 5 years (especially those younger than 2 years), adults age 50 years and over, and people with weakened immune systems due to disease or medication.
Because flu is a contagious disease spread through tiny wet drops produced when a person coughs, sneezes or talks, Jayne Lee, R.N., director of Infection Control and Patient Safety at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, advises being vaccinated early – before the change in seasons drives more people indoors and in closer contact with each other.
“Get it before the holidays and before cold weather hits,” she says.
In addition to the treatment of non-emergency illnesses, simple fractures, sports injuries and sprains as well as the availability of the flu vaccine, the FirstHealth Convenient Care locations provide digital X-ray services and laboratory testing. For more information, visit www.firsthealthconvenientcare.com.