Although no additional community-wide, walk-in clinics are planned, MIT community members can still get a flu vaccination at MIT Medical by calling 617-253-4865. Flu shots should be available at least until the end of January, says Kristine Ruzycki, MIT Medical’s chief of nursing services and director of student health services. Flu shots are free for MIT students, employees, retirees and family members who receive their primary care at MIT Medical.
In their first month of administering the 2011–12 flu vaccination, MIT Medical clinicians have given more than 9,000 shots on campus and at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Mass., Ruzycki reports. “Within the next couple months, we should hit the 12,000-shot mark or close to it,” she says. “The MIT community is well on its way to being prepared for flu season.”
MIT Medical has held four large walk-in clinics this fall — one for students, one for families with children younger than 10 and two community-wide clinics — at which a total of 5,650 shots were administered. Included in that total is a record-setting 3,000 shots given in six hours at the first community-wide event. “The walk-in clinics are a marvel of organization,” says Jane Dunphy, MIT’s director of English Language Studies, adding that she was “grateful” that MIT provides this service.
In addition to the clinics, “we’ve vaccinated a lot of patients during routine office visits,” Ruzycki notes. “And OB/GYN clinicians have vaccinated virtually all of their pregnant patients.” A final pediatric clinic will be held Nov. 14 from 4–7 p.m. in Building E25-119.
The 2011–12 flu vaccine protects against three different flu viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus. Even if you got a flu vaccination last year, you should still get one this year, according to MIT Medical professionals. Only one shot is required for most people, though children between 6 months and 9 years old will need two doses, spaced a month apart, if this is the first time they are receiving a flu vaccination. More information on this year’s vaccine, as well as flu prevention and treatment, is available on MIT’s Flu Central website.