Q. When will the influenza (flu) vaccinations be offered to Mercy College students?
A. Flu clinics will be offered during both fall and spring semesters, dependent upon when we receive a shipment of vaccines. The flu clinic dates and times will be announced via email, campus monitors, and D2L announcements.
Q. Where will flu clinics be held on campus?
A. Flu clinics will be held in the kitchen in Building 1 (Room 101). There will be signs posted within the Sullivan Center to direct you to the location.
Q. Do I need to make an appointment?
A. No, the flu clinics will be scheduled and vaccines will be given on a walk-in basis.
Q. Will I need to pay for a flu vaccine?
A. If you are a Mercy College student or employee, the flu vaccines will be offered free of charge. You will need to have your Mercy College ID badge when obtaining your vaccine to show you are a student or employee, and to receive your annual flu sticker.
Q. Who should get a flu vaccination?
A. According to the CDC, anyone over the age of 6 months should have a flu vaccination each flu season. Employees of Mercy College are required to obtain annual flu vaccinations. Students who attend clinicals during the flu season are also required to obtain annual flu vaccinations. For those students not involved in clinicals, it is not required, but is highly recommended you get the vaccination.
Q. Who should not get a flu vaccination?
A. According to the CDC, anyone younger than 6 months of age should not have the flu vaccination. Those who have severe, life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccination or any ingredient in the vaccination should speak to the Student Health Nurse about available options.
Q. Can I receive the flu vaccine if I have an egg allergy?
A. According to the CDC, people with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine and no longer have to be monitored for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine. People who have severe egg allergies should be vaccinated in a medical setting and be supervised by a healthcare provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.
Q. Do I have to get my flu vaccination from Mercy College?
A. No, if you would like to get your flu vaccination from another healthcare provider, employer, or any other venue offering them, please do so. If you are a student and will be attending clinicals, you need to upload your documentation into CastleBranch. If you are an employee, you will need to provide your documentation to Human Resources. This will need to be done prior to the deadline set on a yearly basis.
Q. How long does the vaccination work?
A. The CDC reports the flu vaccination can provide protection from the flu virus for up to 1 year. The body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time, which is one reason why a flu vaccine is recommended on a yearly basis.
Q. How quickly can I expect the flu vaccination to be effective?
A. Your body can take up to 2 weeks to develop adequate immunity against the flu virus. This is why it is important to be vaccinated at the beginning of the flu season. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination is recommended throughout the flu season, which may be into January or later.
Q. Will the flu vaccination make me sick?
A. No, receiving the vaccination will not cause you to get the flu. There are, however, different side effects that may be associated with getting a flu vaccine. These side effects are typically mild and short-lasting, especially when compared to symptoms of influenza.
Q. What side effects can I expect from the flu vaccination?
A. You may not experience any side effects at all when getting the vaccination. Some people may experience soreness, redness, or swelling where the vaccination was given; a low-grade fever is possible; and you may experience mild muscle aches on the day of or up to a few days after receiving the vaccination.
Q. Will Mercy College offer the nasal spray flu vaccine?
A. This is dependant upon the availability of the nasal spray flu vaccine and annual recommendations from the CDC.
Q. Can I get the seasonal flu even though I got a flu vaccine this year?
A. Yes. There is still a possibility you could get the flu even if you were vaccinated. The ability of the flu vaccine to protect a person depends on a variety of factors, but it is important to remember that the vaccine can protect many people and prevent flu-related complications.
Q. Can I request an exemption?
A. You may request a reasonable accomodation of the flu immunization requirement on the basis of a medical contraindication to the flu immunization or a religious practice or creed that prohibits immunization. Reasonable accomodation does not exempt you from our annual influenza prevention program, but rather is an alternate method of compliance in place of the influenza immunizations. Reasonable accomodation requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and must be presented with supporting documentation. You may request additional information from Human Resources or Student Health Services.
For additional information regarding the flu vaccine, visit CDC.gov or contact Student Health Services.