Seasonal flu shots available for students, employees

Flu shot 2011

College of Pharmacy students give flu shots in 2011. Photo: Joshua Clark/UIC Photo Services

Now’s the time for students and employees to get the seasonal flu shot, says Katherine Mosio.

“Get it as soon as you can to get immunization before the flu season actually starts,” said Mosio, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice and assistant director of the University Village Pharmacy.

Free flu shots are available on campus for students and employees.

Employees and retirees can receive free flu shots from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 29 in 302 Student Center East and Nov. 5 in Michele M. Thompson Rooms A and B, Student Center West.

To receive the free shots, employees and retirees enrolled in the Quality Care Health Plan or a state-sponsored managed care plan must show their health insurance card and i-card (employees) or driver’s license or state ID (retirees).

Students and employees can also get the seasonal flu shot at seven campus pharmacies.

Flu shots are free for students who have CampusCare insurance at two pharmacy locations: University Village Pharmacy, Taylor Street Pharmacy.

Students with CampusCare can also receive free flu shots at the Family Medicine Center.

The flu shot may be covered by other insurance plans at university pharmacies; bring an insurance card and pharmacists can determine whether the shot is covered, Mosio said. Cost without insurance at campus pharmacies is $25.

This year, two types of flu shots were manufactured: trivalent, which protects against three virus strains, and quadrivalent, which covers four flu strains, Mosio said.

“The flu shot protects you against the most common causes of the influenza disease from previous years,” she said. “The quadrivalent gives you one more line of protection against any potential virus that’s circulating.”

Most of the flu shots available on campus are quadrivalent vaccines, Mosio said, but both types of shots protect against the seasonal flu.

“The major recommendation is to get the flu shot regardless of whether it’s trivalent or quadrivalent,” she said. “The trivalent is more available in the market because not many doses of the quadrivalent were manufactured.”

Flu season typically peaks in February, Mosio said, but last year it peaked in early January.

“Flu season snuck up on us,” she said. “Hopefully, that won’t happen again this year but it’s hard to predict. So we’re being really aggressive and recommending the flu shot to everyone 6 months and older and that they get it as soon as possible so we can avoid having such an early flu season.”

People who get a flu shot might feel some muscle soreness and  fatigue the following day, Mosio said, but they cannot catch the flu from the shot.

“There’s a myth that you can get sick from the shot, but it has just enough inactive dead virus to cause a positive immune response in your body,” she said. “It doesn’t make you sick. Only the flu gives you the flu.”

It’s especially important for the campus community to get the shot, Mosio said.

“Students are probably one of the high-risk groups that really should get it because they’re always around large groups,” she said. “They’re always in close proximity to someone who’s sick.”


Free flu shots on campus

Students with CampusCare

• Family Medicine Center, 722 W. Maxwell St., Suite 235, 312-996-2901
• University Village Pharmacy, 722 W. Maxwell St., second floor, 312-355-2345
• Taylor Street Pharmacy, 1855 W. Taylor St., 312-996-6540

Employees & retirees with state-sponsored health insurance 

• Oct. 29: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 302 Student Center East
• Nov. 5: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Thompson Rooms, Student Center West

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