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Thursday, October 03, 2013 - OU campus community encouraged to get flu vaccine
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant


The annual flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent flu and flu-related complications that could lead to hospitalization and even death. Flu shots are available at Oakland University’s Graham Health Center for $20. The vaccine is covered by most insurance plans. 
 
There are many options with regard to flu vaccines this season, according to GHC Director Nancy Jansen.

“This year the choices for vaccines are more complicated,” Jansen explained. “There are quadrivalent vaccines, non-egg-based recombinant vaccines and high dose for age 65 and up.” 

Jansen added that the vaccines can be administered in three different ways: intranasal, intradermal and intramuscular, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend one vaccine or method over another. Visit the CDC website to learn more about the types and methods of flu vaccination.

“The most important thing is just to get vaccinated,” Jansen said. 

The Michigan Department of Community Health recommends that all Michigan’s citizens 6 months and older get a flu shot. Nationally, flu vaccination coverage estimates show that roughly 45 percent of people 6 months of age and older received a flu vaccine last season. Medical professionals continue to stress the importance of a flu vaccination to avoid serious health complications. While a flu vaccine cannot cause the flu, it can produce certain side effects, such as redness or soreness at the injection site.

Each year it’s estimated that more than 200,000 people are hospitalized because of flu-related complications. The CDC lists several groups who are especially vulnerable to the flu, including children aged six months and older, pregnant women, people aged 50 and older, people with compromised immune systems or certain chronic health conditions, and people who live or work with others facing high risk of flu complications. 

Getting a flu vaccine is more convenient than ever before. Vaccines are available from physicians, local health departments, and at many retail pharmacies. Many employers, colleges and universities also offer flu vaccines. Additionally, the annual vaccine supply continues to grow, helping to ensure that enough vaccine is available for everyone.

In addition to getting vaccinated, other healthy habits include hand-washing, covering one’s cough and avoiding close contact to prevent the spread of germs. A nutritious diet, proper rest and physical activity can also reduce the risk of getting sick.

For more information on health services or receiving a flu shot at Graham Health Center, call (248) 370-2341 or visit the website at oakland.edu/ghc. The center also offers an affordable health insurance plan for OU students who don’t have access to family- or work-provided coverage. To learn more, visit the GHC insurance plan site.

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at oakland.edu/newsatou and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.
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