Flu Shot Time!
Attention Longhorns, Aggies, and everyone else, flu season is upon us, so it’s time for your annual flu vaccine. Check with your campus health services to see if they are offering vaccine clinics.
At UT: UHS is providing flu shot clinics starting TOMORROW, Tuesday, 9/24/18.
For a complete schedule and information about the vaccine and the flu, go to www.healthyhorns.utexas.edu.
This week’s flu shot clinics include:
Tuesday, 9/25/18 – noon–4 p.m. – Student Services Building (SSB G1.310)
Wednesday, 9/26/18 – 1–4 p.m. – Facilities Complex Building 1 (FC1 1.118)
Thursday, 9/27/18 – noon–4 p.m. – Texas Union Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom (UNB 3.202)
CHARGES AND PAYMENT
UHS will file insurance claims for: students with most types of insurance (HMOs excluded) If a student’s insurance does not pay for the flu shot (or if the student does not have insurance), UHS will bill $10 to the student’s What I Owe.
ATTENTION STUDENTS WITH INSURANCE: You can speed up your check-in time. Click here to enter your insurance information online before coming to a flu shot clinic (not required).
AGGIES: “Tackle the Flu” with FREE flu shots at Student Health Services on October 3rd & 4th, check here for details>
Who should get the flu vaccine?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) continues to recommend annual flu vaccines for everyone over the age of six months.
What is different this year?
The nasal spray vaccine is back. The CDC had removed it due to decreased efficacy, but this year’s version added more protection against the main strain of flu (H1N1) so the hope is that it’s efficacy will improve, and thus offer a vaccine option for those people who are needle phobic.
Remember that this is a weakened live virus, so while you avoid a needle stick, you may gain mild flu-like symptoms for a few days. (If you are asthmatic, take aspirin daily, pregnant or have autoimmunity issues from HIV or cancer, this version of the flu vaccine is NOT recommended.)
What is the FLU? If a common cold is like getting a speeding ticket, the FLU is like being run over by a Mack truck. The flu causes around a week of miserable symptoms including fever (most of the time but not always), shaking chills, powerful and persistent cough, runny/stuffy nose, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, and sometimes involves vomiting and diarrhea (more often in kids). Colds and allergies tend to bother you from the neck up- stuffy, sore throat, headache- but don’t knock you down for the count, and coughs are generally less bothersome. The “stomach flu” is not flu at all- but a different virus that typically causes about 24 hours of nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.
How is the FLU spread? This virus is spread from infected people when the cough, sneeze or talk, via tiny respiratory droplets, and the scary part is that you are contagious a full day BEFORE you develop symptoms (as well as for about a week after you feel sick.)
How can you prevent the FLU? Wash hands FREQUENTLY and get vaccinated. Get vaccinated. Get vaccinated!
Who should NOT get vaccinated? Those with bad reactions to vaccine in the past; infants younger than 6 months; and those people with a history of an uncommon disease called Guillain-Barre. If you are sick with a fever, wait till this illness is over before getting the vaccine.
BOTTOM LINE: College is stressful enough without getting a full blown case of the flu that knocks you out for a week, so GET VACCINATED now!