Flu Shots Available at Mason

Posted: October 8, 2010 at 1:01 am, Last Updated: October 7, 2010 at 3:30 pm

By Aisha Jamil

The flu season has begun again. This year, Student Health Services will provide flu vaccinations to Mason students and faculty and staff members.  The vaccination will be free for current students and $5 for employees.

Faculty and staff members who have health coverage through the university can also get free shots as part of their wellness benefit. See shs.gmu.edu/documents/FluShotUpdate2010.pdf for the available options, including clinics at the Mason campuses by appointment.

The 2010–11 flu vaccine protects against influenza A (H3N2), influenza B and the 2009 H1N1 virus that caused the pandemic last year. Unlike last year, there is no separate vaccine for the H1N1 virus.

“You should be vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available,” says Wagida Abdalla, physician and executive director of Student Health Services. “The influenza outbreak can happen as early as September and can peak in January or up to February.”

The vaccine develops antibodies that start protecting against the flu virus two weeks after its administration and lasts about a year.

“The viruses are inactivated or killed so that you cannot get the flu from the flu shot,” Abdalla says.

Everyone who is six months or older should get the vaccine, especially those people with higher risks of developing flu-related complications or those who are in constant contact with people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.

Student Health Services offered vaccinations at the Prince William Campus on Oct. 7. See the website for the schedule at the Fairfax and Arlington campuses.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu