Flu Vaccination Information
Getting your flu vaccination early is the most effective form of prevention!
Getting a flu vaccine reduces the risk of having to go to the doctor for influenza by about 60%, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Flu vaccines are available through Thielen Student Health Center. No appointment is necessary; students can walk into the pharmacy from 9 -11:30 am on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Otherwise, students can make an appointment for a time that fits into their schedules.
The flu vaccine is $20 (injection). Following our traditional billing procedures, cost will be billed to a student’s insurance first, and any unpaid cost will be billed to the u-bill.
The “nasal spray” vaccine will not be available in 2016-17 flu season. Due to data showing poor or relatively lower effectiveness of the nasal spray from 2013-2016 the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to not allow it’s use this season. More information on this recommendation can be found here.
If students have questions, they can call the clinic at 515-294-5801.
Symptoms of Influenza
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. It is characterized by sudden onset of fever, body aches, fatigue, sore throat, cough and/or congestion. Other symptoms may include nausea, but these are much less common.
What to do if you get the flu:
- Stay home from school, work and all meetings or appointments until your symptoms subside and you have been without a fever for 24-hours (without taking fever-reducing medications). This can take from 3-5 days or longer depending on the individual case.
- Consider over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen to help relieve symptoms such as discomfort from body aches, cough or other symptoms you may be experiencing.
- Anti-viral medications such as Tamilflu are not recommended for otherwise healthy people with the flu.
- Get as much sleep as possible, and do not over-exert yourself physically. Do not go to the gym.
- Drink plenty of fluids and eat a nutritious diet.
Most cases of the flu will not require a visit to your doctor. However…
- Students should call their healthcare provider if they experience marked worsening of symptoms such as increasing cough with shortness of breath, or prolonged periods of fever greater than 101 degrees F that aren’t relieved by taking over-the-counter, fever-reducing medications.
- Students should seek emergency treatment if they have difficulty breathing, feel severe pain or pressure in their chest or abdomen, suddenly get dizzy or confused; or experience severe or persistent vomiting.
- If influenza-like symptoms get better, but then return with a worse fever and cough, students should seek medical advice.
- Women who are pregnant or people with chronic health conditions should seek guidance from their doctors if they experience influenza symptoms.
It is in everyone’s best interest for ill persons to stay home when they’re sick. Please do not require a class excuse for your students or employees who are home ill with the flu.
Things you can do to avoid getting the flu:
- Get the flu vaccine; it’s not too late to be vaccinated. The flu vaccine is available at the student health center for $20 (vaccine).
- Wash your hands frequently or used alcohol-based hand sanitizing gels. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- Avoid close contact with persons who are ill with the flu.
- Remember to cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue, and wash your hands immediately afterward. Throw used tissues in the trash immediately.
- Take good care of your immune system by getting plenty of sleep, eating a nutritious diet, drink plenty of fluids and avoiding high levels of stress.
Student Health recommends visiting the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for further recommendations on vaccination and seasonal flu activity.