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Let’s talk health: Flu myths busted, and where to get your flu shot

At Family Medicine, we believe in preventive steps to ensure the health and well-being of our patients—you! Since flu season is on the horizon, we’re taking time to dispel some of the myths associated with the flu and the flu vaccine. We want to stress the importance of getting your flu shot. You can get it during your regular visit at Family Medicine, by appointment in the MA clinic, or at many pharmacies!

MYTH: The flu vaccination will give you the flu.

No it can’t.  The flu vaccine is made from a dead virus, so it can’t transmit infection.  It takes a week or two for the vaccine to take effect so if someone gets sick directly after the flu shot the reality is that that person was going to get sick anyway. Also, the flu vaccine does not protect against the common cold so you could still get some sniffles this winter.

MYTH: Healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated.

Wrong answer.  While it is true that is especially important for those with chronic conditions to get a flu shot, even those in good health can benefit from it, by reducing the chance of getting sick. Additionally, getting the flu shot can help decrease the risk of giving the flu to a family member or friend who is at increased risk of illness.

MYTH: The flu is just a bad cold, so it’s not serious.

It is serious!  In the United States alone, about 36,000 people die from the flu each year. Roughly, 200,000 are hospitalized.

MYTH: Feed a cold, starve a fever.

It is important to keep drinking fluids to stay hydrated, even though you might have no appetite.

What does a flu shot cost?

Depending on what type of insurance you have, what you pay for your annual flu shot will vary.

  • If you have insurance, your plan may cover the cost of the flu shot. Please call your insurance provider for more information.
  • If you have charity care, you can get your flu shot at the Family Medicine Center at no cost.
  • If you do not have insurance, you can get your flu shot for free at the Orange County Health Department.

We have a Medical Assistant (MA) Clinic

Did you know we have a clinic staffed by MAs here at Family Medicine?

If you don’t have a visit scheduled with your provider you can still make an appointment to see one of our friendly MAs who would be happy to give you a flu shot. This service is available Monday-Friday 9AM – 4PM. Please call 984-974-0210 to make an appointment.

Medicare Open House

Please join us to learn more about Medicare benefits, what is included in the Medicare wellness visit, and how to prevent falls. There will be prizes and information about other services offered through UNC Family Medicine such as chronic care management, Living Healthy, and Mindfulness as well as select services offered at the Senior Center, the YMCA, and the Health Department. The event will be in the auditorium at FM, 590 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, 27599.

To Register, Please call 919-545-3440 or here online.

To see the Facebook event, and share it with friends, select here.

Dr. Catherine Coe announced as new director of FIRST Program

Congratulations to Family Medicine faculty Dr. Coe, who is not only joining us as faculty member, but is also the new director of UNC School of Medicine’s FIRST Program! FIRST is a three-year accelerated and enhanced medical school curriculum to fast-track into a NC Family Medicine Residency, followed by three years of service in North Carolina with ongoing support in practice. Read more about the FIRST program here. Pictured is Dr. Coe with the FIRST students; Dr. Coe is the one not wearing a white coat!

Meet our newest provider, Debbie Phipps

Dr. Debbie Phipps is the latest addition to our team at UNC Family Medicine. Dr. Phipps grew up in the Chicago suburbs, attended Duke University for undergraduate studies and then returned to Chicago for medical school at Rush University. Her Family Medicine residency and Women’s Health Fellowship were both completed at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. When not at work, she loves spending time with her husband, daughter, and pet Chihuahua mix.

Dr. Phipps has completed additional training in Women’s Health with focus on obstetrics as well as the vulva. Together with the OB/GYN department, she sees patients with Lichen Sclerosus, Lichen Planus, and vulvar/vaginal pain. Research interests include access to contraception as well as treatment of vulvar disorders.

To see her full profile or make an appointment, select here.

Did you know we offer urgent care?

The UNC Family Medicine Center at Chapel Hill now has a comprehensive urgent care practice conveniently located onsite. We are proud to bring extended hours and greater access to care for our patients. Run by UNC’s Department of Family Medicine, we offer walk-in care for health issues that do not require a trip to the emergency room.

The urgent care service is available weekdays 7AM-12PM, 1PM-9PM, and weekends 12PM-5PM. To better serve the community, our urgent care is for everyone—not just Family Medicine or UNC Health Care patients. Visit to learn more.

From aches and pains to stitches and x-rays, our UNC Family Medicine Center team of providers treat any minor illness or injury for patients of all ages.