Flu (Influenza) Shots
UPDATE JAN. 29, 2014: The SHCC is out of flu shots for the season. Remember: After a flu shot, regular handwashing and covering your cough can help prevent infection and stop the spread of germs.
UPDATE JAN. 28, 2014: The SHCC is out of flu shots for the season.
Why did the SHCC run out of shots? The SHCC purchases anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 shots each year in anticipation of those students, faculty and staff who will request vaccination. Beginning in September, vaccination rates remain steady through October; however, this rate drops off significantly after the Thanksgiving holiday. Because leftover vaccine cannot be reused the following year, the SHCC purchases only the amount of vaccine typically used to maximize the use of student health fee dollars. The UF Student Health Care Center vaccinated 8,000 people before the end of November 2013, and an additional 200 in January 2014.
Annual flu shot campaign
Even healthy people can get the flu, and it can be serious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine every year, which includes protection against multiple strains. And while their own symptoms may be mild or nonexistent, college students may spread the flu to those at high risk of flu complications such as grandparents, younger siblings or those with health conditions like asthma or diabetes before they even know they are infected.
For detailed information about flu shot (Influenza Vaccine – Inactivated) benefits and risks, please review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Information Statement.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will the flu shot make me sick? No, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot. The flu shot contains inactivated (killed) flu viruses that cannot cause the influenza illness.
Does the flu vaccine work right away? It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. In the meantime, you are still at risk for getting the flu. That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.
Is the vaccine safe? Seasonal flu vaccines have a very good safety track record. Although there are possible side-effects to vaccination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration closely monitor the safety of seasonal flu vaccines.
Why does the SHCC receive multiple smaller shipments of flu vaccine instead of one large shipment? Influenza vaccine distribution takes place in a phased fashion over a number of months. It begins in late summer for some manufacturers and vaccine products and usually completes near the end of November or early in December. This system can leave doctors and other vaccine providers with uncertainty about when they can expect to receive their full order of vaccine and can make it difficult for them to plan their vaccination activities. Manufacturers and distributors try to get some vaccine to as many providers as possible as early as possible so that they can begin vaccinating their patients. For more information, please visit the CDC’s “Key Facts about Seasonal Flu Vaccine”.
For more information, visit www.flu.gov.