Flu Update and Seasonal Fu Vaccine Clinics for Faculty and Staff

October 19, 2009

Dear Colleagues and Students:
I am writing to update you on our campus's response to this year's difficult flu season.
Our Student Health Service has seen a significant increase in the number of cases of novel H1N1 flu among our students in the past two weeks. Fortunately this flu continues to be a relatively mild illness and there have been no hospitalizations. Student Health Service expects a delivery of H1N1 vaccine in the next few weeks to begin immunizing students ages 24 and under, in accordance with the priority list established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Student Health Service reports that there are no cases of seasonal flu circulating at this time; however, they continue to offer seasonal flu vaccines for students as recommended by the CDC and Public Health Department. Dr. Downing will be sending out another message to our campus community very soon with more details.
In previous years, Student Health Service has been able to offer seasonal flu clinics for faculty and staff, in addition to vaccinating students. Because of the H1N1 pandemic this year, Student Health Service is focusing their resources on immunizing up to 15,000 students with two different vaccines, as well as taking care of ill students. However, our campus would like to continue to provide this service to faculty and staff, so as an additional step to help promote the health and well-being of our entire campus community, we have arranged for visiting nurses from Sansum to come to our campus to administer seasonal flu immunization shots for our faculty and staff. As has been the case with previous vaccine clinics on campus, there will be a $20 charge for receiving a shot (alternatively, employees may obtain flu shots directly from their health care providers, as covered by campus medical plans). Details are as follows:
What:  Seasonal flu vaccines for faculty and staff*
When:  Wednesday, October 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Tuesday, November 3, 12 to 3 p.m.
Where:  UCen Harbor Room
How much:  $20 (same as at Student Health Service‚Äôs clinic for faculty and staff last year)
*Please note that these will be the regular seasonal flu shots, not H1N1 flu shots. Here as elsewhere around the country, H1N1 vaccine has not yet been made widely available; when it does become available, the CDC has recommended that it be given first to the priority groups described on their website (http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm). Any faculty or staff members with questions about whether they should receive an H1N1 vaccine should consult with their health care provider.
I would like to thank all the members of our UCSB community for participating in our combined efforts to minimize the spread of flu on our campus, and extending flexibility and support to our students and colleagues who do become ill. I would especially like to thank Dr. Downing, our Student Health Service staff, and all of our colleagues who have helped our campus prepare for and respond to this challenging flu season.
We deeply appreciate the dedicated contributions of our faculty and staff, and hope that the small convenience of these on-campus seasonal flu vaccine clinics will be helpful to our busy colleagues.

Henry T. Yang