UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Flu vaccine is available at University Health Services (UHS) for all Penn State students and student spouses covered by the Penn State student health insurance plan. Students are strongly encouraged to schedule appointments ahead of time and may schedule appointments online at http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/myUHS up to one week in advance of each clinic date. Penn State student health insurance plans will cover the cost of the vaccine ($21) if received through UHS. Vaccine charges will be sent to the patient’s Bursar account.
UHS will hold flu vaccination clinics on the following dates:
-- 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, Oct. 24, in Alumni Hall at the HUB-Robeson Center;
-- 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 25, in Alumni Hall at the HUB-Robeson Center;
-- 1 to 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27, in Room 205 of the Student Health Center;
-- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 1, in Room 205 of the Student Health Center.
An annual flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone older than 6 months receive the flu vaccine each year. Those at high risk for serious complications from the flu include infants, the elderly, individuals with a chronic medical condition (such as asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, organ transplant, etc.), or individuals who are immune-compromised due to illness or medication use.
This year’s flu vaccine includes components from the same influenza virus strains as last year. The strains covered this year, including the pandemic H1N1, are well matched to the three strains that circulated last flu season in the Northern Hemisphere and have been present during this year’s flu season in the Southern Hemisphere.
Frequent handwashing, proper nutrition and adequate rest can reduce your susceptibility to influenza and other infectious disease. Covering your mouth and nose when sneezing can also decrease the chance of infecting others. Be sure to dispose of facial tissues properly and avoid sharing personal items (such as toothbrushes or drinks).
For those who do get sick, knowing the difference between the flu and the common cold can help patients properly treat their symptoms. Flu usually develops much more suddenly and symptoms are more severe. In general people who have the flu are more likely to have fever, muscle aches, headache, fatigue and less likely to have symptoms typical of a cold, like sneezing and nasal congestion. Online self care guides are available for both colds and flu on the UHS website at http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/healthTopics/pdf/SelfCareCommonColdUHS.pdf and http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/healthTopics/pdf/self_care_flu.pdf online.
For additional information about avoiding the flu this season, visit the UHS website at http://www.sa.psu.edu/uhs or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/flu. Additional information and resources on good hand hygiene are available at http://www.sa.psu.edu/uhs/ohpe/handwashing.cfm.