The Protect IU Blog
Get your flu shot, now!
Flu shots, anyone? Better think seriously about getting one. As usual, new strains of the virus have evolved. They’ve debuted a little early this season, and are making the rounds. One of the new flu bugs – H3N2 -- can be particularly nasty.
The main concern of public health people this year rests upon a good thing. Last year’s flu season turned out to be mild, causing a record-low number of hospitalizations according to USA Today. Why should that be a problem? Because experts are concerned that complacency may make people view getting a flu shot as optional.
Not so. For most people, a flu shot should not be optional, and this is why.
Last year’s version of the virus was mostly just a continuation of the same flu as the year before. Many people, therefore, had been exposed to the virus and developed immunity. Thus, the record-setting low number of hospital visits. But while flu season is somewhat unpredictable, you probably can’t expect a repeat mild season this year.
Two new strains of influenza have evolved – an H3N2 and also a Type B -- and are headed this way if they haven’t already shown up at a location near you.
H3N2 is a family of virus that tends to be harsher than some other types. That strain is included in this season’s flu shot cocktail, as is H1N1, which surfaced in 2009 to “plague” experts with very real worries about a global pandemic. This year’s shot also protects against the newcomer Type B.
The typical flu season begins in October or November, peaks in January or February, but can last until May. An annual vaccination is recommended for almost everyone -- the earlier the better -- but you can get protection from the flu by getting a shot anytime during the season. Babies younger than six months and people with severe allergies to eggs should not get the shot. See your physician if you have any doubts about getting the vaccination.
While IU Kokomo currently is not conducting Seasonal Flu Clinics, IU employees can get vaccinations at other campuses.
Indiana University Human Resources Services will sponsor the annual flu shot program at IUB, along with the IU Health Center, by appointment, October 22-26. For more information and to schedule your shot, visit http://www.healthcenter.indiana.edu/. There is no cost to employees covered by an IU-sponsored medical plan. Otherwise, the cost is $22 and worth every penny!
At IUPUI, the September-November flu clinic will offer free vaccinations at various locations on campus. For more information or to check the schedule, go to http://health.iupui.edu/flu.html. Remember that School of Medicine faculty, staff, students, fellows and residents who serve as medical staff, are employed by, or receive training at IU Health and/or Wishard Health Services, are required to receive an influenza vaccination this flu season.
The second round of Seasonal Flu Vaccination Clinics at IU East will be October 29, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and on October 31, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. The cost is $20. The clinic is in the basement of Hayes Hall and is open to staff, faculty and their adult family members. Pay for the vaccination in advance at the Office of the Bursar in Whitewater Hall, room 102, and take the receipt along to the clinic when you get your flu shot.
IU Northwest Campus Health and Wellness Center, located on the first floor at the north end of Dunes MP, is offering free flu shots while supplies last to students, staff and faculty. Flu clinics are scheduled for October 16 and 23, 8 to 10 a.m.; October 17 and 24, 2 to 4 p.m.; October 18, 10 a.m. to 12 noon; and October 26, 8 to 12 noon, and walk-ins are accepted. If you can’t make it to one of the clinics, schedule an appointment during regular clinic hours by calling 219-980-7250.
Free vaccinations are available to IPFW employees, IPFW retirees and their spouses. Bring IPFW ID cards to the Walb Student Union Ballroom on October 17 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
IU South Bend employees with university Anthem plans can get a free flu shot. They should bring insurance and university identification cards to the Wellness Center at the Student Activities Center on one of three dates: October 17-18 between 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. or 1 to 5:30 p.m., and October 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
At IU Southeast, Flu Shot Clinics were conducted on September 15 and October 4.