It’s that time of year again! The wind is blowing, the noses are running, and you may want to consider getting a Flu Shot before the holidays come around.
Dr. John Lynch, infectious disease doctor and medical director of employee health services, infection control, and antibiotic stewardship at Harborview Medical Center, explained for us why getting the Flu Vaccine is important:
There are bunch of things we can do to stop influenza. The first thing is to not get infected in the first place! Although not perfect, the influenza vaccine is the best method we have to protect everyone from not only contracting influenza, but also from developing the most serious types of infection that land people in the hospital.
The people who are at greatest risk from influenza, such as those at the extremes of age and those living with immunodeficiencies, don’t get the beneficial effects of a vaccine, so they are counting on the rest of us to help protect them. When you get vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and everyone around you. If you do come down with influenza or an influenza-like illness, it is important to prevent spreading it around.
Everything we learned as children still works– frequent hand washing and covering our cough with our elbow are key! Please stay home if you’re ill and don’t return to work or school until you have had about 24 hours without a fever. This gives you time to get better and to stop spreading the virus. Influenza typically presents with a fever, sore muscles, and fatigue, but can look like other respiratory illnesses. People with more severe symptoms should contact their provider with any concerns or questions.
Without further ado, here is a list of where you can get your Flu Shot:
Enrolled in UW Total Benefits
Faculty and staff enrolled in UW-provided PEBB health plans (Uniform Medical and Kaiser), plus graduate students enrolled in the Graduate Appointee Insurance Program (GAIP), can obtain a free annual flu shot as allowed under the plans’ preventive care coverage. UW Benefits hosts clinics at a variety of campus locations throughout autumn quarter. To look through the remaining locations, check out the Flu Shot Clinic calendar.
Covered dependents between ages 11-17 can attend a flu shot clinic with a parent or guardian (who must also sign the claim/consent form). Dependents age 10 and under should see their health care provider. No appointment is necessary for any of these clinics, but be sure to bring your insurance card and photo ID, as well as the required claim/consent form before you arrive.
If you’re a UW student who doesn’t qualify for one of UW’s free clinics, Hall Health offers the flu vaccine on campus. Walk-ins are welcome, but we suggest you call in advance at 206-685-1018 to make sure the vaccine is available. Hall Health immunization hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Local pharmacies and grocery stores also carry the vaccine. To see a list of locations, visit the Flu Vaccine Finder.
To learn more about the Flu Shot, read the CDC’s Vaccine Information Sheet (PDF). There’s also a list of tips and frequently asked questions for you to help prepare for, and prevent the flu. UW Human Resources has a page dedicated to Flu Shot Vaccinations with more information and resources here.