Earlier is better in regards to getting the yearly influenza vaccine, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With 1,200 vaccines on hand, University Health Services at Central Michigan University is ready to administer doses to faculty, staff and students.
“Ideally, October,” the CDC writes on its website as to when to receive a flu vaccine, noting that it is early enough in the fall before the flu shows up in most communities. The CDC says everyone older than 6 months should receive the vaccine.
Michigan Department of Community Health officials are conducting a flu shot challenge among 14 universities and colleges, including CMU. Students – whether they receive the vaccine at the UHS clinic in Foust Hall or from another provider – will be asked to fill out a three-question survey. The state will track results.
No appointment is necessary to receive the flu vaccine from University Health Services. Faculty, staff and students can visit the clinic on the second floor of Foust Hall from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Bring your insurance information. Call 989-774-6599 if you have questions.
A flu shot takes approximately two weeks to become effective, and no shot provides 100 percent protection, said Dr. Michael Deaton, medical director of UHS. The flu shot does reduce the risk of becoming infected. The flu most often is transmitted through person-to-person contact, and a person can be contagious before they know they are ill, Deaton said.
UHS issued more than 1,000 flu vaccines last flu season. Many providers ran short of the vaccine when manufacturers could not keep up with demand.
Deaton also said proper hygiene plays an enormous role in reducing risk. His tips:
- Wash your hands regularly, and wash long enough to sing an entire verse of “Happy Birthday;”
- Stay home when feeling ill; and
- Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow rather than your hand.