Pediatric Medical Group Announcements

April 4, 2023 - 



October 10, 2022 - 

Flu Vaccines Now Available

Experts advise that children receive the vaccine as soon as it is available, preferably by Halloween

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children ages 6 months and older be vaccinated for influenza this fall, as vaccines remain the best way to prevent severe illness and keep kids in classrooms.

In a policy statement, “Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2022–2023,” the AAP observes that vaccination coverage lagged last season and that, historically, the flu has taken a disproportionate toll on families who are Black, Hispanic or American Indian or Alaska Native.

The policy statement will be published in the October 2022 Pediatrics (published online Sept. 6). A detailed review of the evidence supporting the recommendations is published in an accompanying technical report.

“As a pediatrician and a parent, I consider the flu vaccine as critical for all family members,” said Kristina A. Bryant, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement, written by the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases.

“We should not underestimate the flu, especially when other respiratory viruses like COVID-19 are circulating within our communities. Besides making your child miserable and wreaking havoc on your family’s routine, influenza can also be serious and even deadly in children.”

The AAP urges families to catch up with all vaccinations for their children and to ask their pediatrician for the flu vaccine as soon as it is available this season. During the 2021-22 flu season, only 55% of children were vaccinated to protect against influenza, and coverage levels were 8.1 percentage points lower for Black children compared with white children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The overall rates of influenza infection dipped last year, likely due to safety precautions in place to prevent COVID. But as children return to school and pre-pandemic activities, the flu and other respiratory viruses are expected to rise. Historically, they have caused disproportionate harm to some ethnic and racial communities.

In one cross-sectional study spanning ten influenza seasons, Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native people had higher rates of influenza-associated hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions, and disparities were highest in children under age 4. Influenza-associated in-hospital deaths were 3- to 4 times higher in Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander children compared with white children, the study found.
AAP has called for eliminating disparities and inequities in health care access and services for all children.

The AAP recommends:

All children ages 6 months and older be vaccinated annually with influenza vaccine. AAP has no preference for a specific type of flu vaccine; depending on the child’s age and health, they may receive either the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV), given by intramuscular injection, or attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), which is a nasal spray.
Any licensed influenza vaccine appropriate by age and health status can be used.
Emphasis should be placed on ensuring that high-risk and medically vulnerable children and their household contacts and caregivers receive annual influenza vaccine.
Increased efforts are needed to eliminate barriers to immunization in all persons experiencing higher rates of adverse outcomes from influenza.
Children who are eligible for both a flu and COVID-19 vaccine can receive them at the same visit.
Children 6 months through 8 years who are receiving the flu vaccine for the first time or who received only one dose prior to July 1, 2022, or whose vaccination status is unknown should receive two doses of influenza vaccine at least four weeks apart. All other children should receive one dose this season.
Pregnant women may receive the flu vaccine at any time during pregnancy to protect themselves and their infants. Influenza vaccination during breastfeeding is safe for mothers and their infants.
“This is a busy time for most families, with the start-up of school, sports and other favorite activities, like socializing with friends,” Dr. Bryant said. “Getting the flu vaccine helps protect everyone and allows for less disruption caused by illness. Don’t let the flu stop you this season.” resource for parents: Which Flu Vaccine Should Children Get?

Credits: The American Academy of Pediatrics

July 7, 2021 - 


Our office is currently not offering the COVID-19 vaccine. We anticipate offering it soon in office. We highly recommend not delaying getting your child, 12 years and older, vaccinated. CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens Pharmacy are now offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID1-19 vaccine to ages 12+ based on FDA & CDC recommendations. COVID-19 vaccines are FREE. To schedule an appointment visit:

Now is the time to get your child caught up on other vaccines and their annual well exam before the back to school rush begins at the end of the summer. To schedule your child’s well exam appointment, contact Pediatric Medical Group of Santa Maria at 805-922-3548

September 9, 2020 - 


Pediatric Medical Group is excited to announce the addition of a new Nurse Practioner, Jessica Prather, to our team starting October 1st. Jessica Prather is a FNP-C and relocating to the Central Coast from Bakersfield, CA. She was born in Texas, but has spent about 25 years of her life in Kern County. Providing healthcare to the Pediatric population in her community was very important. After graduating with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB), she worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Bakersfield for about 4 years before enrolling and completing her Masters of Science in Nursing in 2010 at CSUB. Jessica taught in the Undergraduate Department of Nursing in Pediatrics at CSUB as clinical faculty. Additionally, she has worked full-time as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a primary Pediatric setting in Bakersfield for almost 10 years. She loves spending time at the beach, going to concerts, and watching baseball with her husband, Josh, two young children, and dachshund, Astro.

May 5, 2020 - 

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations on Well Visits During COVID-19

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly supports the continued provision of health care for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, well-child care should be provided consistent with the Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents (4th Edition) and the corresponding Bright Futures/AAP Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care (Periodicity Schedule).

Since the onset of the pandemic, a significant drop in well-child visits has resulted in delays in vaccinations, delays in appropriate screenings and referrals and delays in anticipatory guidance to assure optimal health. Concern exists that delays in vaccinations may result in secondary outbreaks with vaccine-preventable illnesses.

Primary care pediatricians are prepared to ensure all newborns, infants, children and adolescents are up to date on their comprehensive well-child care, inclusive of appropriate screenings, complete physical exam, laboratory exams, fluoride varnish and vaccines.

May 5, 2020 - 


Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County now has 4 Covid Testing Sites.

Testing is by appointment only. Appointments can be made between 7am and 5pm by visiting
OR BY CALLING 888-634-1123 for those with no internet access.

In Santa Maria at the SM Fairpark, 937 Thornburg St.
In Lompoc at the Anderson Recreation Center, 125 W. Walnut Ave.
In Grover Beach at Ramona Garden Park Center, 993 Ramona Ave.
In Paso Robles at the Veterans Center, 240 Scott St.

Testing is now open to ALL (including children) residents whether or not you are exhibiting symptoms.
Testing is highly recommended for the following persons:
• Healthcare workers, first responders, and other social service employees
• Persons 65 years of age or older
• Anyone with a chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID 19 illness
• Residents or employees of congregate care living facilities
• Essential workers, such as utilities, grocery, food supply, public employees etc.
• Anyone exhibiting one or more symptoms of COVID-19
• *You must be a resident of the State of California
The test is free of charge. Insurance information will be gathered when you register but no co-pay is required. You do not have to have insurance to be tested.
Please bring your driver's license/identification card, if you have one.
The appointment will take approximately five minutes.
If you registered online, you will be provided a card by the clinician taking your test with information on obtaining your results. If you registered via phone, you will receive a phone call. If your test is positive, you will also receive a phone call directly regardless of how you registered. Results are usually received between 4-7 days.
Yes, you can be tested more than once. If you decide to re-test, the best practice is two wait at least two weeks. We do not encourage frequent testing, especially if you do not have symptoms.