Seasonal Influenza Information and Shots

Influenza and Vaccinations 2015-2016 Season.  Information about influenza and where persons can go to get vaccinated:  Influenza vaccines are covered by Student Health Services at Vibrant Health Family Clinics in River Falls for current students. Call the Clinic at 715-425‐6701.

Immunization Requirements

Certain immunizations are necessary for students to be protected while at college. Students should check their immunization histories and update any needed vaccines. All students should carry their immunization records with them while at college since they may need to show proof of immunization. See below for more information about recommended vaccinations and how to obtain them if needed.

Wisconsin colleges and universities are required by state statute to provide all enrolled students each year detailed information about meningococcal disease and hepatitis B and the availability and effectiveness of vaccines against these diseases. (See below for this information.) Colleges and universities must also ensure that each student living in a residence hall affirms that he or she has received this information, and if the student has been vaccinated against either disease, provides the date(s) of vaccination(s).

To locate your immunization records if you are from Wisconsin or Minnesota:
Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR)(For assistance, call your local public health agency, or Pierce County Public Health at 715-273-6755): 
Minnesota Immunization Registry (MIIC): (Call Minnesota Department of Health MIIC Help Desk at 651-201-5503 or 800-657-3970)

For Students Living in Residence Halls

Please see the detailed information about meningococcal disease and hepatitis B and the availability and effectiveness of vaccines against these diseases below, as well as information about the local availability and cost of these vaccinations. You must submit dates of vaccination against meningococcal disease and hepatitis B as part of the housing contract process. Once you’ve provided these dates, you should record these dates and the dates of all vaccinations and carry these records with you. If you need the dates of any vaccinations that you have received, you will need to contact the agency that administered the vaccine(s). If you receive either vaccine after the housing contract process, it is not necessary to submit the dates, but you should keep the dates for your own records. THE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT YOU RECEIVE THESE VACCINATIONS.

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Vaccines recommended for college students by the American College Health Association(ACHA):

All of the following vaccines are available at the Vibrant Health Family Clinic in River Falls (715/425-6701), but only tetanus, MMR, and influenza are covered by Student Health Service at the Vibrant Health Family Clinic in River Falls, so students will be responsible for the full cost of vaccines received that are not covered by Student Health Services.  Pierce County Public Health offers most pertinent vaccines free or at reduced cost (715/273-6755).  Call for appointments for vaccines.

  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) - 2 doses after the 1st birthday and at least 28 days apart (if born after 1956).
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis - Tetanus booster needed every ten years (after childhood primary series). One of these doses should be Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis). Tdap can be administered regardless of interval since the last tetanus/diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine (Td).  According to current recommendations, Tdap is given only once, so subsequent tetanus boosters will be Td.
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) - 2 shot series at least 12 weeks apart if vaccinated between 1 and 12 years of age and at least 4 weeks apart if age 13 years or older. Students may want to consider this vaccine if they have never had the chickenpox or have not been vaccinated.
  • Hepatitis B - 3 shot series over 6 to 12 months.
  • Meningococcal - Quadrivalent A, C, Y, W-135:  Recommended for students living in the residence halls or other college students who wish to reduce their risk with initial or booster dose of conjugate vaccine on or after age 16.  Serogroup B:  May be used for adolescents and young adults for short term protection.
  • Influenza - Annually to avoid disruption to academic activities.
  • Polio - Childhood primary series.  Booster for some foreign travel.
  • Hepatitis A - Given as a series of 2 doses over 6 to 12 months. Students may want to consider receiving this vaccine at least one month before traveling to high risk countries.  Recommended for routine use in all adolescents through the age of 18 and in particular for adolescent and adult high-risk groups (i.e., persons traveling to countries where hepatitis A is moderately or highly endemic, men who have sex with men, users of injectable and noninjectable drugs, persons who have clotting factor disorders, persons working with nonhuman primates, and persons with chronic liver disease).
  • Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) - 3 doses over a 6 month period.  Recommended for females up to age 26 and males up to age 21.  Males 22 through 26 years may also be vaccinated. 

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2016-2017 Vaccination Clinics!

Pierce County Public Health Department offers the below vaccinations free or at a reduced cost to the community at regularly scheduled clinics at the Pierce County Public Health River Falls Office (same location as Pierce County Reproductive Health Services) at 1234 South Wasson Lane, Suite A.  To receive immunizations at these monthly River Falls clinics, persons must call the main Pierce County Public Health Department office in Ellsworth in advance to set up an appointment to receive the requested vaccines (715-273-6755). 

Free or lower cost vaccinations are offered at these clinics.  You must call to schedule appointment (715-273-6755).  Some vaccines may be available for a cost; others may be available at no cost if you have no insurance coverage and depending on your age. 

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis A
  • Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV)
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Tetanus
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • Meningococcal
  • Varicella

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Vaccines Also Available:

Vibrant Health Family Clinicsin River Falls  (715-425-6701) at any time by calling for an appointment. Since the vaccines are not covered or subsidized by Student Health Services (except MMR,Tetanus, and influenza [flu shots and flu mist]), check with your health insurance provider regarding coverage; otherwise you will be responsible for the full cost of the vaccine.

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Meningococcal Disease and Vaccine

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all incoming college freshmen living in dormitories be vaccinated against meningococcal disease with the Meningococcal Quadrivalent (A, C, Y, W-135) vaccine.

The American College Health Association (ACHA) recommends receiving this vaccine if students are living in the residence halls and for those who wish to reduce their risk for the disease. The initial or booster dose of this conjugate vaccine should be given on or after age 16.  

Meningococcal disease is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection that can lead to meningococcal meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, or meningococcal septicemia, an infection of the blood. Meningococcal disease, caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis, is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in older children and young adults in the United States. It strikes over 500 Americans each year and is responsible for approximately 50 to 75 deaths. Due to lifestyle factors, such as crowded living situations, bar patronage, active or passive smoking, irregular sleep patterns, and sharing of personal items, college students living in residence halls are more likely to acquire meningococcal disease than the general college population. Meningococcal infection is contagious, and progresses very rapidly. It can easily be misdiagnosed as the flu, and, if not treated early, meningitis can lead to death or permanent disabilities. One in five of those who survive will suffer from long-term side effects, such as brain damage, hearing loss, seizures, or limb amputation.  

  • Two serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccines were recently licensed by the Food and Drug Administration and approved for use in persons aged 10–25 years. Certain persons who are at increased risk for meningococcal disease should receive MenB vaccine. These persons include:
    • Persons with persistent complement component deficiencies.
    • Persons with anatomic or functional asplenia.
    • Microbiologists routinely exposed to isolates of Neisseria meningitidis.
    • Persons identified as at increased risk because of a serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak.   

MenB vaccine should be administered as either a 2-dose series of MenB-4C or a 3-dose series of MenB-FHbp. The same vaccine product should be used for all doses. While there is no specific MenB vaccine recommendation for college students, the CDC ACIP states that a MenB vaccine series may be administered to adolescents and young adults ages 16 through 23 to provide short term protection against most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease. The preferred age for vaccination is 16 through 18 years.

For more information on meningococcal disease and vaccination, check out the Center for Disease Control (CDC) web page.  Meningitis vaccinations may be available through Pierce County Public Health Department at no cost for some students if no insurance coverage and depending on age. Please call ahead at 715-273-6755 to make arrangements. The vaccines may also be available at the Vibrant Health Family Clinics in River Falls (call for information on availability); however this is not covered by Student Health Services, but they will bill most insurances.  Please call 715-425-6701 to schedule an appointment for vaccination.


Hepatitis B Disease and Vaccine

Hepatitis B is a serious and contagious viral infection that attacks the liver and may lead to acute disease, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. It is a major health problem in the United States infecting more than 1 million people.

You can get the infection through contact with blood or body fluids from an infected person. Hepatitis B is a hardy virus that can live for more than a week in dried blood or body fluids on clothes or other surfaces. Common ways of getting the disease include: a) through sexual contact (100 times more contagious than HIV spread sexually); b) through the eyes or mouth by exposure to blood or other body fluids; c) through the skin by way of cuts, scrapes, needle sticks or needle sharing; and, d) through contact between an infected mother and her newborn child during birth and early infancy.

Although there is no specific treatment for acute hepatitis B, there are safe and effective vaccines available to help prevent infection. The vaccination series consists of three shots given over a 6 month period of time. The vaccine is 90% effective for adults and 95% effective for infants, children, and adolescents who complete the three-dose vaccination series.

For more information on Hepatitis B and the vaccine, please check out the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) web page or the Hepatitis B Foundation web page by clicking here.  Vaccinations may be available through Pierce County Public Health Department at no cost for some students if no health insurance coverage and depending on age.  Please call ahead to 715-273-6755 to make arrangements.  Vaccinationas are also available through the Vibrant Health Family Clinic in River Falls; however these vaccinations are not covered by Student Health Services, but they will bill most insurances.  Please call 715-425-6701 to schedule an appointment.


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Tuberculosis Screening

Anyone exposed to tuberculosis (TB) or showing symptoms of TB should see a health care provider for evaluation and possible TB testing.  TB tests are generally not needed for people with a low risk of infection with TB bacteria. The United States Public Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that TB testing be performed on all individuals who may be at increased risk of TB as indicated below (CDC April 2012).

Who Should Get Tested for TB 

Certain people should be tested for TB bacteria because they are more likely to get TB disease, including:

  • People who have spent time with someone who has TB disease
  • People with HIV infection or another medical problem that weakens the immune system
  • People who have symptoms of TB disease (fever, night sweats, cough, and weight loss)
  • People from a country where TB disease is common (most countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia)
  • People who live or work somewhere in the United States where TB disease is more common (homeless shelters, prison or jails, or some nursing homes)
  • People who use illegal drugs                                     

Tuberculosis skin testing (Mantoux tuberculin skin testing) is covered by Student Health Services for students at Vibrant Health Family Clinic in River Falls.  Students may call 715-425-6701 to schedule a time for testing (and the test will need to be read at the Vibrant Health Family Clinic in River Falls 48-72 hours later).

For more information about tuberculosis and these recommendations/guidelines, check out the Centers for Disease Control tuberculosis web site, check with your health care provider, contact your local public health department (Pierce County Public Health Department 715-273-7655), or call Student Health Services at 715-425-3293.


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Contact Us

Student Health and Counseling Services
Student Health Services: 715-425-3293
Counseling Services: 715-425-3884
M-F, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
211 Hagestad Hall