Students still can benefit from flu vaccine

Flu season has arrived at Penn State, according to University Health Services (UHS) Infection Control Nurse Manager Shelley Haffner. Haffner said all three strains of influenza have been seen this spring at UHS.

"Both type A and B strains of the flu virus have been identified this semester,” she said. Students who have not yet been vaccinated still can benefit from vaccination, even if they already have been sick with the flu.

“Vaccination is the smartest thing you can do to prevent the spread of flu,” said Haffner. “This year’s flu vaccine continues to be a good match to currently circulating flu viruses.”

Based in part on last year’s H1N1 pandemic, the CDC has revised flu vaccine recommendations this year to include everyone older than 6 months, not just those at high risk for complications. Those at high risk for serious complications from the flu include pregnant women, individuals with a chronic medical condition (such as asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis or heart disease), or individuals who are immune-compromised.

Students can receive their flu vaccines at UHS by scheduling online at http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/myUHS or by calling the appointment line at 814-863-0774 during regular business hours. The flu vaccine currently is available at no cost to students; however, there is a $15 administration fee. Penn State student health insurance plans will cover the administration fee if the vaccine is received at UHS.

For additional information about avoiding the flu this season, visit the UHS website at http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/flu online.

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Last Updated March 21, 2011