Influenza Vaccine

When can I get the flu vaccination at the Health Service?

Health Service will be offering a flu vaccine clinic, Monday, November 1st in the SOS Office and it is also offered in our office anytime, please call to schedule an appointment.

Flu vaccine is Free of charge for all students. 

Seasonal influenza ("flu") is a very contagious viral disease that attacks the respiratory tract, including the nose, throat and lungs. It spreads from an infected person when they cough or sneeze, or if there is contact with the infected person's respiratory secretions.

The flu is different from a cold and often includes high fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. Vomiting, diarrhea and/or "upset stomach" are not symptoms of seasonal influenza. Influenza can last several days and it can make you feel pretty miserable! The peak influenza season usually occurs in Iowa in mid-January: therefore, there is plenty of time to get the vaccine.

Be Proactive to Prevent!

  • It sounds simple, but washing your hands and using alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently throughout the day is the best defense. Wash your hands before and after eating, going to the restroom, having contact with pets, contaminated surfaces such as phones or keyboards. Reduce the spread of influenza to others by using a tissue when blowing your nose, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay home from work or school when ill and and encourage others to do the same. You will set an example to others in addition to decreasing chances of transmission to others. There are many ways for students to easily get a flu vaccine this year.
  • Ask for it when you're here for any other appointment at the Health Service.

    Cost: For student and staff is $25 for the injection and $30 for the nasal spray. Payment can be paid at the time of service or put on to the student's account.  Staff/faculty payment is expected at the time of service.

Why get vaccinated?

Influenza ("flu") is a serious disease. It is caused by a virus that spreads from infected persons to the nose or throat of others. Influenza can cause: fever, cough, sore throat, headache, chills and muscle aches. Anyone can get influenza. Most people are ill with influenza for only a few days, but some get much sicker and may need to be hospitalized. Influenza causes thousands of deaths each year, mostly among the elderly. Influenza vaccine can prevent influenza.

Influenza viruses change often. Therefore, influenza vaccine is updated each year. Protection develops about 2 weeks after getting the shot and may last up to a year. Some people who get the flu vaccine may still get flu, but they will usually get a milder case than those who did not get the shot. Flu vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines, including pneumococcal vaccine.

When should I get influenza vaccine?

Most people need only one flu shot each year to prevent influenza. Children under 9 years old getting flu vaccine for the first time should get 2 shots, one month apart.

The best time to get a flu shot is in October or November. But because the flu season typically peaks between January and March, vaccination in December, or even later can be beneficial in most years.

Some people should be vaccinated beginning in September or October: people 65 years of age and older, people at high risk from flu and its complications, household contacts of these groups, health care workers, and children under 9 getting the flu shot for the first time. To make sure these people have access to available vaccine, others should wait until November.

Some people should talk with a doctor before getting influenza vaccine?

Talk with a doctor before getting a flu shot if you: 1) ever had a serious allergic reaction to eggs or to a previous dose of influenza vaccine -or- 2) have a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).

What are the risks from influenza vaccine?

A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small. Serious problems from flu vaccine are very rare. The viruses in the vaccine (shot) have been killed, so you cannot get influenza from the vaccine.

Mild problems include:

  • Soreness
  • Redness or swelling where the shot was given
  • Fever
  • Aches

If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1-2 days.

Severe problem

Life-threatening allergic reactions are very rare. If they do occur, it is within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot.

What if there is a moderate or severe reaction? What should I look for?

Any unusual condition, such as high fever or behavior changes. Signs of a serious allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heart beat or dizziness.

What should I do?

Call a doctor, or get the person to the doctor right away. Tell your doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when the vaccination was given. Ask your doctor, nurse, or health department to report the reaction by filing an Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) form. Or call VAERS yourself at 1-800-822-7967.