UW schedules flu vaccine clinics for employees - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UW schedules flu vaccine clinics for employees

MADISON (WKOW) -- UW-Madison employees will be able to get the seasonal flu vaccine on Monday, November 2. However, only the nasal version of the vaccine will be offered at the November vaccination clinic. Delivery of the injectable vaccine is not expected until early December.

Home Health United supplies the UW with its vaccine. The organization advised the university that there would be delays in delivery of the injectable seasonal flu vaccine. In response, university officials will schedule additional employee flu vaccination clinics in December. The clinics scheduled for November will still occur, but only the nasal spray vaccine will be available.

"We apologize for this inconvenience," says Jim Morrison, occupational health officer in the Department of Environment, Health and Safety, which manages the employee flu shot program. "We know that there is extremely high interest and demand for this service this year, and we are working with Home Health United to get vaccine for employees as soon as we possibly can."

Supplies of seasonal influenza vaccines are temporarily in short supply in many places. According to Home Health United, this is partially because demand has been much higher than normal early in the flu season. Additionally, many manufacturers were instructed to shift to production of H1N1 vaccine, compounding supply issues.

The FluMist nasal spray is a safe and effective alternative to the shot for most people. The seasonal version is made by the same manufacturer and by the same method as the nasal spray for the H1N1 that many schoolchildren have been receiving. 

FluMist is not recommended for people in certain groups including:

  • people 50 years of age and over
  • pregnant women
  • people with certain medical conditions, including heart, liver, lung or kidney disease; asthma or reactive airways disease; diabetes; weakened immune system; or chronic muscle or nerve disorders, such as cerebral palsy, that can cause swallowing or breathing difficulties.
  • people who anticipate having close contact with anyone with a severely weakened immune system, such as a transplant patient, within seven days following administration of the vaccine.

Employees who fall into any of these groups should wait until the injectable vaccine is available or should contact their health care providers to see if they have any seasonal vaccine at this time. The university hopes to offer injectable vaccine through clinics during the week of December 7-11.

"As in past years, it's our goal to offer seasonal influenza vaccine to as many faculty and staff as possible," says Morrison. "It just may take a little more patience on everyone's part as we schedule around these delivery issues."

Once the new dates are finalized, more details on the December vaccination clinics will be released.

You can a full calendar of scheduled November clinics by clicking here.

You can find more information about the nasal spray influenza vaccine by clicking here.

To check on seasonal vaccine availability elsewhere, contact the following providers:

  • Dean, 608 250-1383
  • GHC, 608-828-4853
  • Unity, 800-362-3310
  • Home Health United, 608-241-7279
  • Walgreens Take Care Clinics, 866-825-3227

Remember, if you go to an out-of-network provider like a community clinic, you might need to pay first and then ask for reimbursement from your state health insurance provider.

For employees with Dean Care, Physicians Plus, Group Health Cooperative or Unity health insurance, the flu vaccine will be administered at no out-of-pocket expense when an insurance card is presented at the clinic.

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