Flu and Vaccination - It's Easy to Get a Flu Shot on Campus!

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A flu shot will help you stay healthy and protect those around you from influenza. And because influenza and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, UHS highly recommends the flu vaccine to prevent respiratory illness on campus. 

Where can I get a flu shot on campus?

  • UHS – appointment required, more information below
  • Drop-in clinics – no appointment necessary

It's easy get a flu shot at UHS

UHS offers flu shots for U-M students and other individuals who meet our eligibility criteria. UHS stocks high-dose flu vaccine for ages 65+. You may also be able to get it at a local pharmacy, e.g. Walgreens, CVS, etc.

Appointments are required. To schedule an appointment:

  • Schedule through the Patient Portal (you will need a portal account). After login, go to Visits > Schedule an appointment > Flu shot

The shot is administered in the upper arm, so please wear appropriate clothing. Allow at least 30 minutes for your visit.

For U-M students (Ann Arbor campus), your health insurance will be billed and any cost not covered by insurance will be billed to you. Enrolled students can bill to a student account.

Cost for others is $71. See insurance plans below or pay with a major credit/debit card, cash, or personal check at your visit.

Insurance. UHS is contracted with the following insurance plans and a flu shot is part of your benefits package:

For other insurance, please contact your insurance company to ask about coverage at UHS. Coverage is determined by your insurance company, and you are responsible for paying any cost not covered by your insurance. 

Other locations for flu shots

  • U-M students and non-Michigan Medicine employees can get a flu shot at the office of their primary care provider
  • Local pharmacies provide flu shots

About flu vaccination

Yes, you can get a 1st, 2nd or 3rd dose of the COVID vaccine at the same time.

Annual vaccination against seasonal flu may help to prevent illness, severity of flu and serious complications caused by flu. People who receive the vaccine miss less class or work due to illness. Also, the vaccine helps prevent others from getting the flu from you.

Annual vaccination against seasonal flu may help to prevent illness, severity of flu and serious complications caused by flu. People who receive the vaccine miss less class or work due to illness. Also, the vaccine helps prevent others from getting the flu from you.

When there is a good match between vaccine and circulating viruses, flu vaccine is at least 70% effective in preventing illness in healthy children and adults. Flu vaccine can also reduce the severity of symptoms if you get the flu. Flu vaccine affects only the influenza virus and has no effect on colds. For more on the flu vaccine this year, see the CDC Vaccine Information Statement (PDF).

The best time is as soon as it is available, because protection develops about 2 weeks after vaccination. Flu is typically seasonal, appearing December through March in Michigan. A flu shot is needed each year before the winter season because flu strains vary from year to year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu. Those at higher risk of flu complications, or those who live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu complications, should definitely get vaccinated. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for recommendations.

The following people should not receive a flu vaccination:

  • People who have a life-threatening allergy to eggs or other vaccine ingredients
  • People with life-threatening reaction to any previous vaccine
  • People who have had Guillain-Barre syndrome from the flu vaccine

Side effects include:Minor side effects include soreness, redness and swelling at site of injection; mild fever, mild headache/muscle ache, nausea.

The 1976 swine flu vaccine was associated with an increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome. Subsequent flu vaccines have not had causal relationships demonstrated. If risk exists, it would be less than one to two cases per million vaccines, which is much less than the risk of flu complications.

About flu

Flu (short for influenza) is a viral infection of the nose, throat, bronchial tubes and lungs. It is much like a chest cold but usually more severe. There are two main types of virus: A and B. Each type includes many different strains which tend to change each year.

Influenza is highly contagious and is easily transmitted through contact with droplets from the nose and throat of an infected person during coughing and sneezing. Flu may be transmitted one day before symptoms develop and up to five days after you get sick.

Symptoms include:

  • Rapid onset of symptoms
  • Fever (greater than 100.4° or 38° C)
  • Headache and/or body aches
  • Tiredness (can be extreme)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Diarrhea and vomiting (more common among children than adults)

Acute symptoms usually last 3-5 days, although a cough may linger for up to three weeks.

Complications are rare in young, otherwise healthy adults, but the elderly and persons with underlying health problems are at increased risk for complications such as pneumonia.

Treatment usually consists of resting, drinking fluids and taking non-prescription medicine.

For fever and pain, take Tylenol (acetaminophen), two 325 mg tablets every 4 hours for adults. (People under age 19 should not take aspirin due to the association with Reye's syndrome.)

In order to protect others, please stay at home until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever (temperature over 100° F or 38° C, have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Self-isolation will help reduce the spread of germs to others. Ask a Residence Hall Advisor, family member, roommate or friend to check on you and to bring you food and supplies if needed.

For cough relief, take Robitussin DM.

For multiple symptoms, take NyQuil or DayQuil. Generic medicines are available. Follow package directions.

Antibiotics are ineffective against flu because it is a viral (not bacterial) infection. However, antibiotics may be used to treat flu complications, such as pneumonia or middle ear infection.

Antiviral drugs (e.g. Tamiflu) are available to high-risk patients by prescription and may decrease severity and duration of illness if taken within 48 hours of symptoms onset. To consider antiviral treatment, call for Nurse Advice by Phone as soon as possible after symptoms begin.

If you are ill and need to miss classes and/or work for several days, be sure to contact your instructors and/or employer, and notify your academic adviser. If this is not possible, students may contact the Dean of Students Office for assistance (phone 734-764-7420; email  deanofstudents@umich.edu).

Call for medical advice if you experience these complications

  • Earache
  • Cough that is severe and persistent or produces bloody phlegm
  • Sore throat that lasts longer than 5 days
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

Generally, no. The viruses that cause flu change frequently, so people who have been infected or had a flu shot in previous years may become infected with a new strain. Because of this, and because any immunity produced by the flu shot will decrease in the year after vaccination, people should get vaccinated every year in order to be protected. 

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