Can I Get Physicals and Vaccines at ExpressCARE?
By Emily Shiffer
Those first few months of school come with a long list of tasks to complete for parents and students alike. This can often include required physicals, vaccines and examinations. But if you’ve waited until the last minute, your child’s primary care provider (PCP) may be booked out for months. Thankfully, LVHN offers plenty of these services through our ExpressCARE locations.
The benefits of going to ExpressCARE
ExpressCARE is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. No appointment is ever needed. The focus of ExpressCARE is on walk-in availability close to your home. And if you have any questions about hours or care, the staff encourages you to call.
“We always encourage reaching out to our excellent clinical staff at any of our locations during our hours of operation, and they can better direct patients with more specific/situational complaints,” says Zerfass.
Automatically keep your primary care physician in the loop
Your primary care physician (PCP) is your ultimate partner in everyday health. But if you can’t schedule a timely appointment with your PCP, this is the perfect time to hop into an ExpressCARE. And to streamline your experience, ExpressCARE visits are able to be viewed by your PCP, so they’re always in the loop.
Back to School Services Provided at ExpressCARE
Here are 3 crucial things your child can have done at ExpressCARE:
ExpressCARE can complete PIAA sports physicals, Driver’s Permit physical exams, camp physicals, and even school district or college physicals. The key: bringing your immunization records, or knowing your immunization history.
“While ExpressCARE does not offer every immunization, we can confirm that you've had those with a copy of your immunization records, so if you can bring a copy (especially if you are new to Lehigh Valley Health Network and we may not be able to bring your records up in our computer database), this will be extremely helpful.”
Low-Cost PPD Testing (Tuberculosis Test)
Many physicals require a PPD test, which ExpressCARE locations offer with or without a physical. They'll charge your insurance if you have coverage, or offer a $9 self pay discount.
While your child likely doesn’t need one right at the start of school, come early fall, you can stop in for a quick flu vaccine. Flu vaccines at ExpressCARE locations are billed through your insurance, and you’ll be encouraged to get yours as soon as they’re available this October.
“We recommend all patients get the flu vaccine as soon as it’s available because once flu season begins, the risk of contracting the illness (as well as other cold viruses) increases,” says Zerfass. “The flu vaccine needs approximately 2 weeks to reach full effectiveness.”
Unfortunately, just because you got a flu vaccine last year doesn’t mean you’re covered for the current year’s flu strain.
“The flu virus changes every year, sometimes even in the same season,” says Zerfass. “We recommend the vaccine because it is the best way to protect ourselves, as well as those around us that are extremely vulnerable, such as children under 5 years old, adults over 65 years old, pregnant patients, patients with chronic heart or lung illnesses, and immunocompromised patients.”