The risk of influenza (the “Flu”) infection is currently high. Flu activity continues to increase in certain areas in the United States. A recent analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found influenza A (H3N2) viruses are the predominant strain, and a little more than half of samples analyzed were found to be antigenically different (drifted) from the H3N2 vaccine strain. When circulating influenza viruses drift, the vaccine has the potential to be less effective. In addition, when H3N2 viruses predominate, there are higher rates of flu hospitalization and deaths, compared with seasons when H1N1 or influenza B viruses have predominated. For details, see the CDC HAN Health Alert Network message and the AAP Latest News article. (Red Book, AAP, January 28, 2014)
Vaccination remains the most important step in protecting against influenza. A recent CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) shared that getting a flu vaccine this season reduced a person’s risk of having to go to the doctor because of flu by 23 percent among people of all ages. Annual flu vaccination is recommended for all people 6 months and older, including all children and adolescents. Vaccination remains especially important for those with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes mellitus, hemodynamically significant cardiac disease, immunosuppression, or neurologic and neurodevelopmental disorders. These individuals are at higher risk of serious complications if they get the flu.
MISS OUR FLU SHOT CLINICS? STUDENTS CAN SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT IN HEALTH SERVICES!
TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT:
- Online: OWL
- Telephone: 609-771-2889
- In-person: 107 Eickhoff Hall
COST: $20.00 (cash only)
PRINT THIS OUT, COMPLETE IT & BRING IT WITH YOU: SCREENING & CONSENT FORM
NOTE TO STUDENTS UNDER AGE 18 OR THOSE WITH A COURT-APPOINTED LEGAL GUARDIAN: Your parent or legal guardian (if applicable) must sign the “Influenza Vaccination Screening and Consent Form”.
READ THIS BEFORE YOU GET A FLU SHOT: VACCINE INFORMATION STATEMENT (VIS). VISs are information sheets produced by the CDC that explain both the benefits and risks of a vaccine to vaccine recipients. Federal law requires that healthcare staff provide a VIS to a patient, parent, or legal representative before each dose of certain vaccinations (click HERE for more information). Non-English translations of the VIS can be found at http://www.immunize.org/vis/vis_flu_inactive.asp (not all languages are available).
About our Flu Vaccine
We are administering the Inactivated Influenza Vaccine, Fluarix® Quadrivalent, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. This vaccine is Thimerosal-Free. The tip caps of the prefilled syringes MAY contain natural rubber latex. The quadrivalent flu vaccine is designed to protect against four different flu viruses; two influenza A viruses: A/Christchurch/16/2010 (H1N1) & A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2), and two influenza B viruses: B/Brisbane/60/2008 & B/Massachusetts/2/2012. This vaccine is given by injection into the muscle in the top portion of your outer arm.
Who Should Get a Flu Shot?
All persons aged 6 months and older should be vaccinated annually, with rare exceptions.
Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for persons who are at increased risk for severe complications from influenza, or who are at high risk for influenza-related outpatient, emergency department, or hospital visits. When vaccine supply is limited, vaccination efforts should focus on delivering vaccination to the following persons (no hierarchy is implied by order of listing):
- are aged 6 months through 4 years;
- are aged 50 years and older;
- have chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus);
- are immunosuppressed (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by human immunodeficiency virus);
- are or will be pregnant during the influenza season (see CDC’s Seasonal Flu Vaccine Safety & Pregnant Women) ;
- are aged 6 months through 18 years and receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who therefore might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection;
- are residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities;
- are American Indians/Alaska Natives;
- are morbidly obese (body-mass index is 40 or greater);
- are health-care personnel;
- are household contacts and caregivers of children aged younger than 5 years and adults aged 50 years and older, with particular emphasis on vaccinating contacts of children aged younger than 6 months; and
- are household contacts and caregivers of persons with medical conditions that put them at higher risk for severe complications from influenza.
A complete list of health and age factors that are known to increase a person’s risk of developing serious complications from flu is available at People Who Are at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications.
Who should NOT get the quadrivalent influenza vaccine?
- Children younger than 6 months of age
- Anyone with a history of severe allergic reactions (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any component of the vaccine, including egg protein, or following a previous influenza (flu) vaccination. For a list of vaccine components, click HERE and scroll to page 10 – Description.
There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a doctor. These include:
- People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with or without a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated), and
- People with a history of Guillain–Barré Syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS) that occurred after receiving influenza vaccine and who are not at risk for severe illness from influenza should generally not receive vaccine. Tell your doctor if you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Your doctor will help you decide whether the vaccine is recommended for you.