The George Washington University will offer seasonal influenza vaccinations this fall to students, faculty and staff.
Flu shot clinics sponsored by the Student Health Service will be held on the Foggy Bottom Campus from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 3 in the Marvin Center Continental Ballroom, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 18 in the Marvin Center Room 413, and from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 23 and Oct. 24 at the Student Health Service, 2141 K St. NW, Suite 501. A clinic will also be held on the Mount Vernon Campus from 4 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 10 in West Hall Room B108.
The vaccines are free for students enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan, but students must show verification of insurance in order to receive their flu shot for free. The cost of the vaccine is $20 for students not enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan and GW faculty or staff. The charge is payable by cash, check or credit card. At the clinics on Oct. 3, 10, 23 and 24 payments can be made with GWorld. Students can also have the charge billed to their student account. For more information about the Student Health Service flu clinics, click here.
Free flu vaccines sponsored by Colonial Community will also be available to faculty and staff during the 2013 open enrollment fairs. The fairs are being held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 11 and Oct. 17 on the Foggy Bottom Campus, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 15 on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus, and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Biostatistics Center in Rockville, Md. Faculty and staff can register for a free flu vaccine by calling 1-866-998-9908 or emailing GWUflu@LifeWorkStrategies.com. Faculty and staff should specify in their email or voice message “GWU Flu Shots,” their name, campus location, preferred date and time, email and phone number.
GW employees who participate in any of the university’s health insurance plans can receive a free flu shot at CVS, Rite-Aid, Target or Walgreens when they present their UnitedHealthcare card. Spouses or dependents who are covered under the GW health plan can also get a free vaccine. For more information on the vaccines available at the open enrollment fairs or at participating pharmacies, click here.
“Flu can be a serious disease and getting immunized is the best step in preventing it,” said Isabel Goldenberg, medical director of GW’s Student Health Service.
According to Dr. Goldenberg, the flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe symptoms including fever, sore throat, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea and general physical weakness. The illness becomes contagious one day before symptoms appear and can remain contagious up to one week after symptoms dissipate.
“It is believed to spread by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or even talk,” said Susan Haney, associate director of the Student Health Service. “And it is unpredictable in how severe it will be from one season to another.”
The influenza season tends to peak in January and February and can start as early as October and last as long as May. The Student Health Service recommends annual vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff.