Protect yourself this flu season

A college student receives a flu vaccination from a medical professional.

Flu season typically runs from October through March, with peak activity between December and February.

This year it is especially important to protect yourself against the flu by getting the flu vaccine. It is possible to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, so protecting yourself against the flu may help prevent you from becoming very ill. 

The flu and COVID-19 are both caused by respiratory viruses. Both viruses present with similar symptoms–ranging from mild to severe– and testing may be needed to confirm a diagnosis. It is also important to note that some people with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic (meaning they may have the virus and not even know it), or they may only experience a loss of taste and smell. Both viruses can spread before someone develops symptoms. 

Because both viruses spread via respiratory droplets, it is important to remain diligent with established health practices:

  • Wash your hands often throughout the day or use a hand sanitizer with at least 65% alcohol 
  • Wear a mask when in public 
  • Maintain social distancing 
  • Stay home from work or school if you are feeling ill 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, throw the tissue away and then wash your hands or sanitize OR use the bend of your elbow

Please consider getting the flu vaccine this year to protect yourself and others. And in general, take care of yourself: Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, and exercise daily.

Register for your flu vaccine today!

Penn State, in partnership with Health Advocate, will provide flu vaccine clinics throughout the Commonwealth using a three-pronged approach:

Employees who are members of Penn State's health care plan, as in the past, can receive a vaccine at any network pharmacy or at their primary care physician’s office using their insurance card.

In addition, all employees (full-time, part-time, etc.) and all eligible spouses (covered under a Penn State health care plan) can utilize drive-thru clinics which will be held at most campuses. Clinics will be held in October.

Finally, employees can also request a voucher to receive a vaccine at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid, and Safeway pharmacies where available. Employees do not need to be members of Penn State’s health care plan to receive a voucher.
To sign up for the drive-thru flu vaccine or to request a voucher:

  • Log-in or, for first time users, register at
  • Click on the white button on the right side entitled “Schedule a Flu Shot”
  • Choose "Schedule Your Appointment"
  • Select your site, service, date, and time
  • Click "Submit"
  • Receive an email confirmation and add it to your calendar    

If you are unable to attend a clinic, scroll down and click on one of the listed pharmacies to download a voucher.

Student flu shot resources

If you are insured, you can get a FREE flu shot at your Doctor's office or by using your insurance card at any local pharmacy.

If you are uninsured, Geisinger is offering several free drive-thru flu shot events (even if you are insured you may still go to this drive-thru event, it is free and open to the public):

Geisinger's drive-thru flu shot events are scheduled for:

Saturday, Oct. 10, at Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital, Orwigsburg, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 11, at Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital, Orwigsburg, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There is no need to preregister. Please follow the directions for drive-thru flu clinics:

  • You must wear a mask
  • When you arrive at the site follow the signs
  • You will not need to leave your vehicle
  • You will fill out a short form
  • Remain in your vehicle with the window open and you will receive your flu vaccine

If you are uninsured or unable to get to one of the free clinics, stop by the Health Center (B Building, bottom floor) and speak to Cindy Ebling or contact Bryan Valentine, director of student affairs, 209C Health and Wellness Building.