UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Fall is known for brisk weather, big sweaters, and pumpkin-flavored everything, but it’s also known as the start of flu season. Students can protect themselves by making an appointment through University Health Services (UHS). Flu shot clinics will begin Sept. 28 and end on Oct. 29.
The cost of the vaccine, at the clinic, is $25. Students are asked to bring their Penn State ID as well as their insurance card. Appointments may be made for office visits as well.
According to Shelley Haffner, infection control manager for UHS, it’s very important for students to get their flu shots.
“Every year, the flu spreads across campus,” Haffner said. “Most people don’t realize how sick you get from the flu. On average, people are sick for 5-7 days, but it can take 2-4 weeks to fully recover.”
Haffner added that the flu has hit University Park during finals week in the past. College students are especially vulnerable to the flu due to close living quarters, class schedules, and social activities. Add to the mix that many college students don’t have regular sleep patterns, may not eat properly, and have increased stress levels, making them even more vulnerable.
“University Park typically has multiple flu strains circulating each season,” Haffner said. “Without the flu vaccine, it is possible to be infected with every circulating strain. The vaccine is the best protection we have. This year our vaccine contains four different strains for better protection.”
In order to spread awareness and encourage vaccine compliance, UHS and the College of Nursing are running the #PSUFluFight campaign. Students are encouraged to snap a selfie with their flu shot sticker, tag the post with #PSUFluFight, and challenge three friends to get a flu shot.
For more information about influenza or to make an appointment, please visit studentaffairs.psu.edu/health.