UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
In this year of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is important to get immunized against influenza to limit hospitalizations and limit deaths that may attributed to the combination of influenza and COVID-19. A combination of both viruses, or one after the other, may mean bad news for your health, respiratory health and overall ability to recover. People who can avoid the flu will help reduce the stress on a health care system already strained by COVID-19.
Influenza vaccines are covered for current students at Vibrant Health Family Clinic in River Falls by Student Health Services. Students should call 715-425-6701 to schedule an appointment for the flu vaccine. Employees should contact their personal health care provider (or Vibrant Health or Allina clinics in River Falls, but should check insurance for coverage) to schedule an appointment for their flu shot.
The following pharmacies in River Falls are offering seasonal influenza shots, currently available, and will bill insurances (most insurances, including Medicare, are covering influenza vaccines, but individuals should check with their insurance plan regarding coverage and providers). All are walk-ins, no appointment necessary.
-Family Fresh Pharmacy (715-425-8494) (303 South Main Street, River Falls): $34.99, quadrivalent, adults only. High dose available for $54.99 (age 65 and older).
-Walgreens Pharmacy (715-426-4089) (1047 N. Main Street, River Falls): $40.99 for quadrivalent, age 6 and older; $72.99 for high dose (age 65 and older).
-Freeman Drugs (715-425-2255)(104 South Main Street, River Falls): $35 for quadrivalent, age 6 and older; $65 for high dose (age 65 and older).
We are working with local public health and other health care providers about whether it will be possible for on-campus influenza vaccines for students or employees. Watch for more information if this will be possible.
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): https://www.dhfswir.org/PR/clientSearch.do?language=en
Minnesota Immunization Registry (MIIC): http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/immunize/registry/immrecords.html#check (Call Minnesota Department of Health MIIC Help Desk at 651-201-5503 or 800-657-3970)
State statute relating to meningococcal disease and hepatitis B: Wisconsin colleges and universities are required 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. Please see the detailed information about meningococcal disease and hepatitis B, and the availability and effectiveness of vaccines against these diseases, in the information and links 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.
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.
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.
Vibrant Health Family Clinics in 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.
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 the conjugate vaccine should be given on or after age 16.
Recently, vaccines for B meningococcal (Men B) disease were licensed by the Food and Drug Administration and approved for use in persons aged 10–25 years. There is no specific Men B vaccine recommendation for college students; however, since the CDC ACIP states that a Men B 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, some college students may choose to get this vaccine. It is approved for use in persons aged 10-25 years but the preferred age for vaccination is 16 through 18 years. Men B vaccine should be administered as a 2-dose series of MenB-4C or MenB-FHbp. The same vaccine product should be used for all doses. Serogroup B vaccines may administered with Men ACWY but at different anatomic site, if possible.
Certain persons who are at increased risk for meningococcal disease should receive Men B vaccine in addition to the Meningococcal Quadrivalent vaccine. These persons include:
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.
For more information on meningococcal disease and vaccination, check out the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) web page. Meningitis Quadrivalent 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 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.
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. Most persons receive this vaccine series as part of their childhood immunizations, but persons may want to confirm
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. 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. Vaccinations are also available through the Vibrant Health Family Clinic in River Falls; although these vaccinations are not covered by Student Health Services, the Clinic will bill most insurances. Please call 715-425-6701 to schedule an appointment.
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).
Certain people should be tested for TB bacteria because they are more likely to get TB disease, including:
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.