September 17, 2009 — Midway through the annual flu shot clinics, University of Virginia employees are turning out in large numbers, but there is plenty of vaccine left, U.Va.-Workmed reports.
"We've had very, very strong participation this year," said Thomas Miller, a supervisor with U.Va.-Workmed.
The organization usually gives 3,500 to 4,000 vaccinations per year – at no cost to employees – in clinics held around the University. "We're certainly on pace to be above that," Miller said.
The current vaccination drive is for the seasonal flu. "It is the single most effective preventative for the flu," he said.
People should get vaccinated every year, because the vaccine formula is altered every year to reflect the recently circulating strains, according to U.Va.-Workmed literature.
The University will hold separate vaccination clinics for the H1N1 ("swine") flu. That vaccine is expected to be made available in mid-October and following Centers for Disease Control guidelines, will first be given to health-care workers, then to students.
According to the CDC, people in the 19- to 24-year-old age group are prioritized "because many cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza have been seen in these healthy young adults and they often live, work, and study in close proximity, and they are a frequently mobile population."
Plans for vaccinating employees against H1N1 are still in the works, Miller said.
Six seasonal flu vaccination clinics remain:
• Friday, 12:30-4:30 p.m., Carruthers Hall, Conference Room E
• Monday, 1-4:30 p.m., 545 Ray C. Hunt Drive (Fontaine Research Park), Room 2318 (enter through the 515 building)
• Tuesday, 2-4 p.m., University Hall North Lobby
• Wednesday, 1-4:30 p.m., Printing Services Conference Room, Old Ivy Road
• Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Newcomb Hall Room 168AB
• Sept. 28, 12:30-3:30 p.m., Law School, Room WB119
Employees should bring University IDs. For questions about the seasonal vaccine, including who should and should not receive it, call 243-0076. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should receive clearance from their doctors before receiving the shot.
Other, nonmedical questions about the vaccination program should be directed to the Office of Employee Benefits at 924-4392.