Ohio University benefits-eligible employees and faculty members who have taken early retirement in high-risk groups are eligible to get the seasonal flu shot at Hudson Health Center next week.
The shots will be available from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 23 and 24, in Hudson 010. High risk groups include:
- Health care providers
- Anyone who is at risk of complications from influenza:
- Pregnant Women
- Anyone with the following long-term health problem:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Metabolic disease, such as diabetes
- Anemia and other blood disorders
- Anyone with a weakened immune system because of:
- Long-term treatment with drugs such as steroids
- Cancer treatment with X-rays or drugs
- Anyone with muscle or nerve disorders:
- seizure disorders
- cerebral palsy
- Anyone older than 60 years of age.
- Anyone sharing a house with or serving as a caregiver for a child of less than 6 months of age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children of this age cannot get the vaccine, but are particularly susceptible to complications from the flu.
The CDC, while recommending that everyone receive a seasonal flu vaccine this year, strongly encourages anyone in these risk categories to get immunized.
Once at-risk employee groups have received a vaccine, the university will likely offer any remaining vaccines to other employees on a first-come, first-served basis, said Interim Director of Student Health Services Jacqueline Legg.
"At this time we have only received 550 of the 1400 doses we ordered, and the pharmaceutical company cannot provide a date for shipment of the remainder of our order," she said. "We felt it was important to begin vaccinating those individuals most at risk for the complications of influenza, and are continuing to work with our vendors to purchase additional vaccine."
Given the limited supply of vaccines, Legg recommended that employees try to obtain flu shots from their personal physicians or local retail establishments when possible.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved an H1N1 vaccine, which is expected to be available sometime this fall. More information is expected in the coming weeks regarding when they will be available and how they will be distributed.
Visit the university's H1N1 Web site for more information about H1N1 and tips on how to prevent getting sick.