Sindecuse Health Center offers vaccinations to Western Michigan University employees, students and retirees who want to protect themselves and the people around them from seasonal influenza. Vaccinations will be administered by appointment at the health center and at events planned for November.
The quadrivalent vaccine protects against four strains of the influenza virus and is available at Sindecuse Health Center and at two drop-in clinics. Appointments are available:
- Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:15 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4:15 p.m.
- Thursdays from 9:15 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4:15 p.m.
Two drop-in clinics have been scheduled for November at the Bernhard Center:
- Students may attend a drop-in flu shot clinic in room 107 on Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 11 a.m to 3 p.m.
- Employees may receive a flu shot at the Benefits and Wellness Expo, Thursday, Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Thimerosal-free Vaccine Available
The seasonal flu vaccine contains thimerosal which is a mercury-based preservative that has been used for decades in the United States. Although rare, some people may be allergic to thimerosal. If you believe you are allergic to thimerosal, you should obtain an order from your primary care physician stating you must receive the preservative-free vaccine. Sindecuse Health Center will only administer thimerosal-free doses to patients with an order.
Timing Your Vaccination
Multiple factors may influence the decision about when to get a flu shot. Infants, senior citizens, individuals with health conditions putting them at risk and their caregivers are advised to get a flu shot as soon as possible. Ask your health care provider if you have questions about timing.
The start of a flu outbreak changes from year to year. Outbreaks can start as early as October but tend to peak in January or later. Immune protection starts to decline several months after receiving the flu shot. Healthy individuals receiving the flu vaccine at the end of October or early November may have more protection against flu virus outbreaks that occur later in the season.
Students May Receive Vaccine at No Cost
The Student Health Advisory Council has secured a grant from Alana’s Foundation and matching funds to cover the cost of vaccines for up to 200 uninsured and underinsured WMU students. Students who want to access grant funding to pay for a flu shot should request it when they register for an appointment. Council members will lead an effort to encourage students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated and then vote in the College & University Flu Vaccination Challenge. Anyone who has had the vaccine is may vote in the online poll.
WMU employees covered by the University's Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO group 007005281 and their covered dependents age 12 or older receive flu shots with no out-of-pocket expense at Sindecuse or one of the drop-in events. Other patients should check with their insurance carrier regarding benefits––many insurance companies treat seasonal flu immunization as a covered benefit. WMU employees with Blue Care Network HMO insurance are also welcome to receive flu shots at the health center with no out-of-pocket cost. Their dependents are not eligible to use the health center for this purpose.
For WMU retirees, flu shots are a covered benefit for those with MPSERS, Medicare or Medicare Advantage and for those without Medicare who are covered under WMU's Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO insurance plan.
If grant funding for uninsured and underinsured students has been used up, WMU students receiving flu vaccinations will be charged $20. Retirees without Medicare, non-benefits-eligible employees and their dependents will pay $30 per dose. High-dose vaccine will be given to patients 65 years or older who request it for $65 as supplies allow.
Methods of Payment
Payments are accepted via personal check, cash or, in the case of students, a charge to a University student account. Employees not covered by insurance may use the payroll deduction plan. Sindecuse will bill insurance carriers for students and non-benefits-eligible employees who have provided insurance information. Credit card payments may be made only at the health center.