As you may know, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that a significant portion of the expected supply of flu vaccine would not be available for this year's flu season. Because of this, we are not sure if we will be able to run our flu shot program this year. If it will be held, the Penn Flu Shot program will most likely be restricted to patients who meet the CDC guidelines for being at highest risk of influenza-related complications (see below). As more information becomes available to us, we will keep the Penn community updated.
Along with the announcement, the CDC issued recommendations about who should be given priority for flu vaccinations this season (www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/whoshouldget.htm). If you meet the high-risk criteria, you may want to seek out other options for getting a flu shot, such as working with your doctor's office. However, as the shortage is nationwide, other sources may be hard to identify.
Given the situation, we encourage you to arm yourself with information.The University of Pennsylvania Health System's website contains several informative articles about colds and the flu, including tips for prevention and treatment:
The Human Resources website also contains some health and wellness articles from Independence Blue Cross that may be useful. Go to www.hr.upenn.edu/quality/wellness/newsletter.asp, and scroll down to newsletter articles from fall 2003, titled: Cold and Flu and Hand Washing.