Did you know we are in the middle of a vaccination challenge?
Michigan colleges and universities have come together for some friendly competition this fall against the flu, and Eastern Michigan hopes to be on the winning end.
The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has issued a challenge to colleges and universities in an effort to increase flu vaccination rates of college-age young adults through a competition to see which school can get the highest percentage of its students vaccinated against the flu this season.
We are competing against Central Michigan, Grand Valley State, Oakland and Wayne State to see who can get the highest percentage of students vaccinated. If you get vaccinated, no matter where, all you have to do is fill out this survey. Overall award winners will be announced by the MDCH during National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 7 – 14, 2014).
EMU’s University Health Services, located at Snow Health Center, will host various clinics to make it easier for students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated.
The vaccination will cost $30 without insurance.The vaccine is free for students with the EMU student insurance. Otherwise they may pay by cash, check or bill the charge to their student account (E-Bill). EMU employees who have Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will receive the vaccine at no charge as long as they bring their insurance card.
NOTE: University Health Services was just awarded a grant for $1000 from Alana’s Foundation to support our efforts with the Flu Challenge. The funds will be used to vaccinate up to 50 students who are uninsured/underinsured students of EMU at no charge on a first come-first serve basis.
College students are at a distinct and increased risk to catching serious illnesses such as the flu. Close contact through residence hall living, classrooms, public transportation, social activities and sport events make the flu easy to spread. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school.
Influenza is one of the deadliest disease in human history. Did you know more people died of the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918 than all war time casualties of the First World War put together? Even in non-pandemic years, upwards of five million people are struck down with great sickness and 500, 000 of them die. Yikes! All the more reason to protect yourself.
The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu or make you ill. The most common side effects are a sore arm and possibly a low fever or achiness. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body’s immune system to fully respond and be protected.
The flu season is unpredictable. It can begin early in the fall and last late into spring. As long as flu is in the community, it’s not too late to get vaccinated, even during the winter.
The influenza vaccination is the single best way to prevent influenza infection. Last year, the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) showed only about 10 percent of 18 to 24 year olds was vaccinated. We need to increase that number!