Get your flu shot!


A brightly colored influenza virus particle

A falsely-colored influenza virus particle//Photo by Cynthia Goldsmith, courtesy of the CDC

Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports flu activity has been low so far this year, if you haven’t already, now is the time to get vaccinated. Flu season generally peaks in the U.S. between December and February, the agency says, and it can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to reach its full protective power.

At UW-Madison, through the end of this week, students can take advantage of walk-in flu clinic hours at University Health Services (UHS). After Friday, 20 November, flu shots will still be available, but by appointment only. On Wednesday, UHS is hosting Flu Shot Friendsday, and three people will be eligible to win a $25 gift card to the UW Bookstore.

Here are some extra reasons you may want to get a flu shot (aside from, you know, not being sick for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays!):

  1. It gives you an extra excuse to go to the gym. Studies show that fit individuals have stronger immune systems and benefit even more from the flu shot. Some studies suggest exercising immediately before or after vaccine may also enhance its effectiveness.
  2. You’ll make your parents happy, especially if you send photos.
  3. Speaking of pictures, you can become internet famous: Our very own uwmadvax.tumblr.com wants you to share
    Bucky says: Get vaccinated

    Bucky says: Get vaccinated. Share yours at uwmadvax.tumblr.com

    your vaccine photos. Or, UHS nurse manager, Jennifer Baird, suggests posting your photo to social with #selfieshot. It’s your chance to show off your responsible decision-making skills, a fun Band-aid, and to encourage other friends to get vaccinated as well. You can be a trendsetter.

  4. Even if you have a cold, a flu shot will not make you more sick. But, stay home if you have a fever 100 deg F or higher.
  5. Flu shots aren’t just for you, they’re for your whole community. It’s called herd immunity: The more people vaccinated in a group, the better protected are all the members of that group. It means you’re helping keep your roommates and dorm friends safe, protecting the babies riding the bus, and not sharing viruses with your grandparents at Thanksgiving dinner.

Plus, Bucky wants you to:

Bucky Badger makes an appearance at University Health Services’ satellite flu shot clinic on 10/19/2015 in Union South’s Varsity Hall//Credit: University Health Services

Bucky Badger makes an appearance at University Health Services’ satellite flu shot clinic on 10/19/2015 in Union South’s Varsity Hall//Credit: University Health Services, UW-Madison

 

To get ongoing, up-to-date information about flu activity, visit the CDC’s weekly flu surveillance website. You can learn more about the influenza viruses circulating and how the virus is impacting people throughout the U.S. While the flu shot isn’t 100% effective, it’s still your best chance to avoid the flu, and this year is expected to be a better match than last year.

Also, UHS does more than flu shots. Check out the following list of immunizations available. Under UHS’s Student Health Insurance Plan, members and their spouses and partners may be fully covered. UW students not enrolled in SHIP can still get these vaccines for a fee.

Under University Health Services’ (UHS) Student Health Insurance Plan, members and spouses/partners may be fully covered for various immunizations. UW-Madison students not enrolled in SHIP can still get these vaccinations at a fee.