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As flu season approaches, Health Services is gearing up for its yearly vaccination program. From Oct. 6 to 22, all students with Brown IDs will be able to receive the flu vaccine — which protects against both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 influenza — free of charge at Josiah's.

The clinics will run on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a break for the holiday Oct. 11.  No appointment is necessary. The Health Services website recommends that all students, except those allergic to eggs or past flu shots, those who are sick or those who have previously developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, get the flu shot.

According to Edward Wheeler, director of health services, students should expect promotional material in the form of table slips and posters in the coming weeks.

"I'd imagine I'll consider [getting the vaccination] if another swine flu kind of thing comes up" said John Kotheimer '14.  "Right now I hadn't really planned on it."  

Jayson Marwaha '14, a Program in Liberal Medical Education student, said that he will not be vaccinated this year as he does not entirely trust the vaccine.

According to Wheeler, it will be possible to schedule an appointment with Health Services to receive the vaccine even after the clinics have ended. "We will not run out," said Wheeler.

Last year, Brown had the highest vaccination rate of colleges in the state, Wheeler said. In the 2009–10 flu season, Brown dispensed 2,568 seasonal flu vaccines and 2,671 H1N1 vaccines.  

Though Wheeler guessed that fewer students would turn up this year for the flu vaccine after last year's H1N1 outbreak, he said he hopes that "everyone takes advantage of the open hours." He added that being vaccinated is important for students because "not only does it protect them, but it protects the community."


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