Date: October 2, 2013
To: Parents of All University Students
From: Dr. Christopher Holstege and Sandra Murray, Student Health
Re: Immunization Clinic for UVa Students: Oct. 23 (Flu shots and more)
Dear UVa Parent:
Your University of Virginia student can protect him/herself against several serious health threats by taking advantage of immunizations offered in cooperation with our private vaccine provider company, Maxim Health System. They will be administering Influenza (Flu) vaccine and pre-entrance immunizations on Grounds on Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. at Newcomb Hall. Please note some specific information about this clinic below. We hope you will encourage your student to take advantage of this immunization program.
|Date: Oct. 23, 2013, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
(No appointment needed.)
|Where: Newcomb Hall
|Costs: Payable at time of service by cash, check, or credit card.
(MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover.)
|Insurance: Student Health Aetna plan will be billed automatically.
Please have your insurance card available.
Influenza (“the flu”) can lead to medical complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or ear infections. Students are encouraged to be immunized against influenza annually to prevent an outbreak, which can occur very quickly. With the rigorous demands of college life, even a short illness may cause a setback in studies and hinder academic achievement. College students at high risk of complications from the flu, such as those with diabetes or asthma, or any students who want to minimize disruption of their routine activities during flu season should seriously consider being immunized against influenza. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people get vaccinated against influenza as soon as 2013-2014 flu season vaccine becomes available in their community. Influenza seasons are unpredictable, and can begin as early as October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. For everyone, getting vaccinated each year provides the best protection against influenza throughout flu season. It’s important to get a flu vaccine every year, even if you got vaccinated the season before and the viruses in the vaccine have not changed for the current season. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.
Meningitis is a serious and potentially fatal disease that affects the brain and spinal cord and can lead to permanent disabilities such as hearing loss and brain damage. Meningococcemia (blood infection) can lead to kidney and heart failure and also result in amputation, permanent disability, and death. College students are more susceptible because they live and work in close proximity to each other in residence halls and classrooms. First-year students living in residence halls have a six times higher risk of meningitis than college students overall. Meningitis is passed through such common habits such as sharing a drink or cigarette, kissing, or through the air via coughing or sneezing.
A safe, effective vaccine is available that can provide protection against four strains of meningitis, which together account for 70 percent of meningitis cases on college campuses. Prior to 1997, vaccination had been delayed until an outbreak occurred. However, new national guidelines have encouraged the use of vaccine prior to the onset of an outbreak. Because the onset of symptoms is extremely rapid and because immunity after vaccination can take up to two weeks to develop, it makes sense for students to consider reducing their risk before cases appear.
“Hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B, one type of vaccine-preventable hepatitis, is a serious liver infection that can cause severe liver damage and can lead to death. Hepatitis B is an infection that is passed through blood and body fluids (sexual contact, sharing of needles or razors, tattooing or piercing, contact sports). Routine hepatitis B vaccination was recommended for all children in 1991. Since 1990, new hepatitis B infections among children and adolescents have dropped by more than 95 percent – and by 75 percent in other age groups. The CDC also states that in some settings, the hepatitis B virus can be up to 100 times more contagious than the AIDS virus.
Epidemic levels of Whooping Cough (pertussis) are being reported in certain sections of the country. While 70 percent of the University’s undergraduates are already vaccinated with Tdap, others are strongly encouraged to do so at the upcoming vaccination clinic on Oct. 23.
Several other vaccines will be offered during this program and are listed below. This clinic is being held on Grounds as part of Student Health’s preventative health programming.
More information on the clinic can be found on the Student Health website.
If your child is under the age of 18, you will need to complete and sign a consent form that is available to download from the Student Health website. Your child will be required to have this to receive any vaccine.
|Flumist (intranasal flu)
|Hepatitis A (series of 2)
|Hepatitis B (series of 3)
Should you need more information about this clinic and the vaccines, please visit the Student Health website or call 434-982-3915.
Dr. Christopher P. Holstege
Executive Director, Department of Student Health
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
Sandra J. Murray RN, MSN
Associate Director of Administration, Director of Nursing
Department of Student Health