UCSF Offers Free Flu Shots Through November 4

September 30, 2013

Beginning today, Sept. 30, UC San Francisco will offer all faculty, staff, students, trainees and volunteers with an identification badge a free shot to prevent influenza.

The flu vaccine drop-in clinics will be offered at various campus locations through Monday, Nov. 4.

UCSF flu clinic locations include the Parnassus, Mount Zion, Mission Bay campuses as well as UCSF buildings at Mission Center, Laurel Heights, China Basin and Executive Park.

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The most effective way to prevent infection from an influenza virus is through annual flu vaccination., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

UCSF’s annual influenza program is intended to make it easier for members of the UCSF community to comply with the University’s flu vaccine policy. Flu vaccination protects staff, patients, and the integrity of the UCSF workforce.

The UCSF flu shot policy requires that all UCSF Medical Center employees and those who enter the hospitals and clinics be vaccinated for the seasonal flu.

As required by state law, anyone who declines a flu shot must sign a declaration form and wear a hospital-supplied mask while in areas where patients are seen, evaluated and treated. Declination forms will be available in mid-November on the UCSF Occupational Health website.

The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.

While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine is designed to protect against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. Getting the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available each year is always a good idea, and the protection from vaccination will last throughout the flu season.

In addition, people can take everyday preventive steps like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. Those who are sick with flu, should stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others.

For more information about UCSF’s flu vaccination program, go to the Occupational Health website.