November 3, 2009,
Volume 56, No. 10
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
2009 H1N1 Flu Shots for Penn Faculty and Staff Eligible Under CDC Guidelines
With H1N1 influenza (often referred to as swine flu) adding to the normal flu season already in full swing, Penn has been working hard to ensure that our campus has access to vaccine supplies as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Our seasonal flu shot program was very well attended, and now we’re able to announce our plan for 2009 H1N1 vaccinations.
You Must Meet CDC Eligibility Guidelines to Receive the H1N1 Flu Shot
As you may know, the government is making the H1N1 vaccine available for distribution through local agencies. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has been working with the University to provide the vaccine to members of the priority groups identified by CDC guidelines. Supplies of the vaccine are limited, so the H1N1 flu shots will be available only to individuals who meet those CDC guidelines.
Students and Healthcare Service Providers
Two of the highest priority groups are Penn students 24 years of age or younger and University healthcare service providers. Student Health Service and Occupational Medicine are coordinating H1N1 flu shots for these groups. For more information on this distribution plan, please visit the University’s flu prevention and preparedness home page at www.upenn.edu/flu.
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and staff who meet CDC high-priority guidelines will be able to receive H1N1 vaccinations at no charge through a program coordinated by Human Resources in collaboration with Occupational Medicine. When you arrive to get your H1N1 vaccination, you will be required to complete a CDC form verifying your eligibility. The high-priority groups for faculty and staff are as follows:
1. Pregnant women
2. Individuals 24 years of age or younger
3. Individuals who live with or care for children younger than six months old
4. Emergency care/first responders
5. Individuals between 25 and 64 years of age with high risk medical conditions, including: pregnancy, cancer, blood disorders, chronic lung disease [including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)], diabetes, heart disease, kidney disorders, liver disorders, neurological disorders (including nervous system, brain and spinal cord), neuromuscular disorders (including muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis), and people with weakened immune systems.
Program Dates May Change Due to Supply Delays
Although Penn has been scheduled to receive shipments of the vaccine on certain dates, there is a chance that we may not receive the supplies exactly as scheduled. Manufacturers are working quickly to produce enough vaccine to meet demand, but there are nationwide reports of delays in shipping. Because of this, the dates and locations for Penn’s H1N1 flu shot program for faculty and staff should be considered tentative.
If we don’t receive our supplies as scheduled, we will need to adjust the dates listed below. Although the details may change in the coming days and weeks, we invite eligible faculty and staff to register for the H1N1 vaccination now. If any schedule changes need to be made, we’ll send e-mail updates to all registrants. You’ll also find the most up-to-date information on the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/Quality/Wellness/FluShots.aspx.
Due to the uncertain nature of this program, we encourage you to take advantage of other means for receiving the H1N1 vaccination that may become available to you (e.g., your personal physician’s office).
Dates and Times
Eligible faculty and staff can register for H1N1 flu shots from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. on the following dates. Please keep in mind that these dates are tentative, pending receipt of sufficient vaccine supplies.
• Monday, November 16, 2009
• Tuesday, November 17, 2009
• Wednesday, November 18, 2009
• Tuesday, November 24, 2009
• Monday, November 30, 2009
On-campus H1N1 flu shots for eligible faculty and staff will be administered at five convenient locations—the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Wharton School, the School of Nursing, the School of Design, and Facilities and Real Estate Services. You’ll see the exact locations when you pre-register online. If any schedule changes need to be made, these locations may change as well.
Pre-registration is required for H1N1 flu shots. This allows us to be prepared for demand and manage lines in order to avoid long waits. It also gives us your contact information so we can update you if any program details change. To pre-register, visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/Quality/Wellness/FluShots.aspx.
You can register up until the day before the date you select. But time slots fill up quickly, so we encourage you to pre-register as soon as possible. The first and last time slots typically fill up most quickly, so try selecting some time in the middle for easier registration. If you’re unable to register online, contact Human Resources at (215) 898-5116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Completing the CDC Eligibility Form
According to CDC guidelines, anyone receiving an H1N1 flu shot is required to verify his or her eligibility prior to vaccination. When you arrive to get your flu shot, you’ll be required to complete a CDC form requesting a description of the basis for qualifying for the shot and a certification that all information is current and accurate. The completed form will be reviewed by the nurse administering the shot to confirm that each person is eligible. The form will then be sent confidentially to the CDC for their records.
What to Bring to the Flu Shot Site
You’ll need to bring your PennCard to the flu shot site. Also, remember to wear clothes that provide easy access to your upper arm. You won’t need to bring any money since the H1N1 flu shots will be provided free of charge to eligible faculty and staff.
For more information about H1N1 flu shots or the pre-registration process, visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/Quality/Wellness/FluShots.aspx or contact Human Resources at (215) 898-5116 or email@example.com.
—Division of Human Resources