To the editor:
Cornell Health has flu vaccine.
The flu shot is free at Cornell Health for Cornell students, staff and faculty. Schedule an appointment online anytime or call us during business hours at 607-255-5155.
It’s not too late to get a flu shot, which provides the best protection against the flu. According to the CDC, influenza is widespread across the country now and there likely are “still weeks of flu activity to come.” Now that students have returned to campus from all over the world, we expect flu-like (and other) illnesses to be on the rise. The level of protection from the flu shot varies depending on many factors, including the strains of influenza in circulation; but even if you get the flu, having received the vaccine may lessen your symptoms or shorten the course of your illness. It’s especially important for those with health conditions that put them at higher risk of complications of the flu to get vaccinated.
Cornell Health puts a great deal of effort into vaccinating as many individuals as possible during the end of September and beginning of October, and at every opportunity after that, per CDC recommendations. This year, we aimed high and procured enough supply to vaccinate 10,000 members of the Cornell community (that’s 2000 more than usually opt to get the vaccine). We succeeded in dispensing most of that vaccine during the fall semester, which means our community is better prepared now than it ever has been for flu season.
In a typical year, interest in flu vaccination drops off by January, and most years Cornell does not exhaust its supply. This year, at Cornell and across the country, there is an ongoing demand, due to awareness of the sustained level of widespread and intense flu activity. As a result, the national supply is dwindling; and late last week, Cornell Health gave the last of its large pre-ordered stockpile. Following concerted efforts by our staff, we have been able to replenish our supply and will continue our efforts to keep a supply on hand as long as there is demand for vaccinations.
Please remember, during flu season, we all need to take extra care of ourselves and each other: get vaccinated, wash your hands, cover your cough, and stay home if you get sick. Students: we’re here for you. Please schedule an appointment or call us with your questions and concerns.
You can read about flu vaccination, other prevention strategies, what to do if you get the flu, and when to seek health care on our website: health.cornell.edu.
Kent Bullis, MD
executive director of Cornell Health
Anne Jones ’04, DO, MPH
medical director of Cornell Health