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Now is the time to roll up your sleeves for a yearly flu shot

Online scheduling available for patients to get flu vaccination at U-M health centers

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan Health System’s Michigan Visiting Care and its health centers are offering flu vaccinations to patients and the public.

New this season, U-M patients have the opportunity to self-schedule appointments online for a flu shot at a participating U-M health center.

“Getting some type of flu vaccine is important,” says Linda McGrath, R.N., immunization coordinator for the U-M Health System. “A yearly flu shot is the single best way to protect yourself and those around you from getting sick with the flu. Influenza is more serious than the common cold and can lead to missed work and school and serious complications, including hospitalizations and death.”

Vaccination can be done during new or existing appointments or at a series of convenient walk-in clinics at the U-M and at MVC flu shot clinics

It takes about two weeks for protection to develop after vaccination, and protection lasts through the flu season.

Flu shots for Michigan Medicine and the Medical School

Michigan Medicine is continuing its commitment to creating the safest possible environment for patients, families and employees.

As part of its influenza vaccination policy, faculty, staff, medical/nursing students and volunteers must receive their annual vaccine by Dec. 1, 2017 or receive an approved exemption. Free employee flu vaccinations are available at flu clinics held in October and November, through U-M Occupational Health Services in the Med Inn Building or from clinical unit flu liaisons.

What you should know

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone 6 months and older should be vaccinated for the upcoming flu season. School-aged children are more likely to catch the flu and vaccinating a child also protects people around them like grandparents, babies, other family members and friends.

Standard vaccination will be the quadrivalent vaccine protecting against four flu strains. There’s also a high-dose flu shot for people age 65 and older. 

Vaccine experts advised against the use of FluMist because of its limited protection in recent years. Nasal spray vaccine is not available this season.

Flu spreads around the United States every year usually between October and May. The vaccine is designed to protect against the most common flu viruses expected during the flu season.

There is no live virus in flu shots. They cannot cause the flu.

With any medicine, including vaccines, there is a chance of reactions. These are usually mild and go away on their own, but serious reactions are possible.

Tell the person who is giving you the vaccine:

  • If you have any severe, life-threatening allergies. Most, but not all, types of flu vaccine contain a small amount of egg protein.
  • If you ever had Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome (also called GBS).
  • If you are not feeling well.

Vaccination is particularly important for high-risk groups, including children, those 50 and older, pregnant women, and anyone with an underlying medical condition that can weaken their ability to fight infections.

At its walk-in clinics, Michigan Visiting Care accepts the following insurances:

  • Blue Care Network
  • BCN Advantage
  • Medicare Plus Blue PPO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PPO
  • Blue Cross Complete
  • Cigna
  • HAP HMO and PPO
  • Health Plus HMO/PPO/POS/MIChild
  • HealthPlus MedicarePlus Advantage HMO/PPO
  • Priority Health HMO and PPO
  • Priority Health Medicare Advantage
  • Traditional Medicare Part B
  • UM Premier Care

Other payment options include cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

The walk-in clinics are open to the public. See a complete list of Michigan Visiting Care’s clinics below or call MVN’s flu hotline at (734) 477-7299.

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