University Health Services to help fight flu with student vaccine clinics

September 26, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Flu season is quickly approaching, and in preparation Penn State University Health Services (UHS) will offer student flu vaccine clinics on campus.

The clinics, to be held in Alumni Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center at University Park, are open to all students. No appointment is necessary to attend, and students are encouraged to drop in during any of the six clinic dates. The cost of this year’s vaccine is $25, billable to insurance or the student’s Bursar account.

UHS student flu vaccine clinics will be held on the following dates from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

  • Thursday, Sept. 26
  • Tuesday, Oct. 1
  • Thursday, Oct. 3
  • Thursday, Oct. 10
  • Tuesday, Oct. 15
  • Monday, Oct. 21

According to UHS, more than 1,000 students were seen for flu-like illness during the 2018-19 flu season. Four different flu subtypes were identified on campus last flu season. During the 2018-19 flu season, two different waves of flu occurred, caused by two different subtypes.  This meant that those who had the flu once were vulnerable to the other subtypes as well, causing multiple flu infections in the same person during the flu season. Most of the confirmed flu cases seen at UHS last season had not received the flu vaccine.

“Last year’s flu season was unusual for us in that we had two distinct waves, caused by two different subtypes, increasing the risk of students becoming ill with the flu more than once last season,” said Shelley Haffner, infectious disease manager in University Health Services. “The flu vaccine is the best option for preventing severe flu illness and complications. By offering convenient, on-campus vaccination opportunities, we hope that more students will take a proactive approach in managing their health and protecting themselves this season.”

An annual flu vaccine is the first and most important step in preventing flu viruses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone age six months and older.

Close living environments make college students particularly susceptible to spreading flu viruses. In addition to receiving an annual flu vaccine, students also are encouraged to cover their coughs, limit sharing food and drinks with others, and to practice good hand hygiene.

Students planning to attend a flu vaccine clinic are asked to bring their health insurance card along with their Penn State ID. UHS will bill in-network health insurance providers for the cost of the vaccine; students who are uninsured, have out-of-network coverage, and/or do not supply insurance information will be billed to their Bursar account. Payment will not be collected at the clinics.

For more information, visit studentaffairs.psu.edu/flu-clinics.

Last Updated September 30, 2019