Health Services urges flu shots by mid-December

Nov. 26, 2003 10:08 a.m.

Amid warnings that this flu season might be one of the worst in recent history, Princeton University Health Services is recommending that students, faculty and staff members obtain flu shots as the holiday travel season approaches. University community members may visit University Health Services to be immunized during regular business hours on weekdays.

"Because many members of the University community will be traveling widely in the next few weeks and coming into contact with friends, family members and people from all over the world, we urge everyone who has not already received one to come to University Health Services for a flu shot," said Daniel Silverman, Princeton's chief medical officer.

University Health Services recommends receiving a shot by mid-December to provide the best protection for flu season. Vaccinations are available on weekdays from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. for students and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for faculty and staff at Employee Health Services. Appointments are encouraged for students and required for employees.

The cost for the shots is $5 for students and staff and $15 for dependents. Dependents under the age of 17 are not eligible to receive flu shots from University Health Services.

Following recent influenza outbreaks in Texas, Colorado and some Middle Atlantic states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly encourages anyone who is able to receive a flu vaccine to do so as soon as possible.

"While there have been some articles in the popular press about the vaccine not covering the type of influenza virus that is causing current problems, the CDC believes this vaccine may offer cross protection and that those getting the flu may have milder cases if they have received the immunization," Silverman said.

For answers to frequently asked questions about the flu, visit the CDC's Web site . For more information about the availability of flu vaccines at Princeton, students can call University Health Services at (609) 258-3141 and employees can call (609) 258-5035.