(Originally published Sept. 18, 2009 – updated Sept. 22, 2009.)

Stock shot of single-use syringeThe fall 2009 vaccine for protection against seasonal flu is now available on campus, and the first flu shot clinic for faculty and staff members is scheduled for 2-7 p.m. Sept. 24 in Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

Flu shot clinics for students begin Sept. 21.

Cases of novel H1N1 flu continue to be seen on the SMU campus and throughout the country. A vaccine for novel H1N1 is currently in production, and the SMU Memorial Health Center plans to have it available later this fall.

The timing and duration of seasonal flu outbreaks can vary. Spread of seasonal flu can begin as early as October and occur as late as March. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting a seasonal flu vaccination each flu season. The seasonal flu vaccine administered in January 2009 will not provide protection for the upcoming flu season.

The University pays the cost of flu shots for benefit-eligible employees, retirees and retiree spouses. Employee spouses may purchase shots for $25. The cost for students insured with Aetna student insurance program is $5.

In addition, faculty and staff members can get free flu shots from a primary-care doctor with no deductible and no office visit co-pay. Vaccines are covered under the $500 Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO preventive care benefit when submitted as a claim for “routine immunization.” Vaccines are also covered under the Aetna HMO preventive care benefit.

To shorten your wait at the University flu clinics, take these steps in advance:

Find more information and a complete flu shot clinic schedule at smu.edu/flu
Learn more about flu at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website