Back to Campus Currents

Flu shots are available free of charge to all health plan participants. This includes benefited employees and their participating dependents. It also includes participating retirees and those who have continued their health coverage through COBRA.

Shots will be given at Black Hills State University: Oct. 27 and 28 at 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., room 222 of the Donald E. Young Center. Call student health services at 642-6520 for an appointment.

Flu shots are also available Oct. 20 from 1-6 p.m., at the Health Fair at Black Hills Medical Center, (walk-in clinic) or call for an appointment at the Lawrence County CHS Office (578-2660).

Employees who have opted out of the state's health plan are not included. Children younger than 11 years of age should go to the county health nurse, not to places where large numbers of employees line up to receive their shot. There are special circumstances that are involved when young people receive a flu shot.

Influenza, or the "flu," is a highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs. It is spread primarily when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The flu vaccine can prevent up to 60 % of hospitalizations and 80 percent of deaths from influenza - related complications. Flu vaccine must be administered every year as different viral strains

emerge each year.

Nationwide statistics show that up to 20 percent of the population is infected each flu season. The direct medical costs have reached $4.6 billion a year. Statistics from a Minnesota study published in The New England Journal of Medicine show the following differences between those who received shots and a group who did not receive the flu shot. There was a 25 percent reduction in upper respiratory illnesses, a 43 percent reduction in sick leave, and a 44 percent reduction in physician office visits.

Considering both medical savings and dollars saved from avoided work loss, the cost savings in this study was $46 per vaccinated person.

Back to Campus Currents