American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®

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From the January 1999 ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright 1999 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

Last minute reminder: give flu vaccines

There's still time to vaccinate your patients against the flu.

Although the CDC recommends the fall as the optimal time to vaccinate against influenza, the shot can be given through the month of February in most parts of the country. Most patients build an appropriate immune response to the vaccine after one to two weeks.

Pneumococcal vaccine, meanwhile, may be given at any time during the year, although most people develop the illness in winter. Patients acquired an immune response in about two weeks.

Adults considered most at risk of developing the diseases include all seniors older than 65, people with chronic cardiopulmonary conditions or diabetes mellitus and the immunocompromised.

The CDC estimates that only 58% of the appropriate patients each year get their vaccinations.

One-stop shopping for women's health info

The U.S. Public Health Service has launched a Web site that provides links to more than 1,000 sites with resources on women's health issues. The site is aimed at doctors, other health professionals and the public.

The National Women's Health Information Center (www.4woman.gov) also includes a toll-free telephone number to connect callers to an information specialist trained to refer people to sources of material. The number, 800-994-9662, is staffed 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.

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