October 3, 2008

Annual vaccine campaign offers free flu protection

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Medical Records’ Donte Carter gets his flu vaccine at Occupational Health’s tent on the plaza in front of Eskind Biomedical Library. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Annual vaccine campaign offers free flu protection

Vanderbilt's Occupational Health Clinic has kicked off this year's flu vaccine campaign.

Staff, faculty and medical students can get a flu vaccine in the tent on the plaza in front of the Eskind Biomedical Library through Oct. 10, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., said Valerie Thayer, R.N., who heads up the program.

A valid ID badge is required.

“Influenza is a serious disease,” Thayer said. “Each year in the United States on average 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the flu, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications and about 36,000 people die from the flu.

“The Occupational Health Clinic does not want the faculty and staff at Vanderbilt to become flu statistics.”

The flu vaccine will be available at the Occupational Health Clinic weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Oct. 13, and at several other sites on campus:

• The tent on the terrace of the Buttrick Building on Oct. 22 and 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• The tent at the Commons West patio on the Peabody campus on Oct. 23 and 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m .

• The lobby of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt Oct. 15 through 17 from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

There will also be several other opportunities for people whose workplace is away from campus, as well as a traveling flu vaccine cart for night and weekend staff, Thayer said. There will also be prizes awarded to faculty or staff members who get their first flu shot, she said.

Thayer said that it takes about two weeks for your body to develop immunity from the vaccine.

For more information, go to the flu calendar on the OHC Web site: www.occhealth.vanderbilt.edu.

The site also has information on common flu myths and a consent form that can be downloaded.