Health Beat

Do You Need a Flu Shot? What About Tetanus?

By Pam Cameron, RN

With flu season just around the corner, now's the time to consider if you need this year's flu vaccine to reduce your risk of getting bitten by the "bug." Below are some questions and answers to consider in making your decision about the flu shot and other adult immunizations, such as the new chickenpox vaccine or tetanus booster.

I keep hearing about the flu shot. Who really needs it?

An annual flu shot can be potentially life-saving and is highly recommended for people with medical conditions that put them at risk for flu-related complications. This includes people over 65, those with heart problems, lung or kidney disease, asthma, diabetes, cancer, HIV infection and any illness or treatment that weakens your immunity. It is also recommended for those who care for or live with someone with these high-risk medical conditions.

I am healthy, without any medical problem. Should I get a flu shot anyway?

If your job entails high public contact where you can become infected or infect others with the flu, the vaccine may prevent you from getting the flu or lessen your symptoms. This group includes staff on the front-lines with lots of student and public contact and child care and health care workers. Some healthy adults decide to get the shot to reduce the risk of being laid up with the flu. Still others attempt to lessen their chances with good health habits--getting plenty of rest and practicing frequent handwashing--which also helps to prevent the spread of colds. The flu vaccine won't prevent the common cold.

How do I know if I shouldn't receive the vaccine?

People who shouldn't receive the vaccine include those allergic to eggs (used to make the vaccine) and anyone who has been paralyzed with Guillian Barré Syndrome. Persons ill with a fever should wait until they are recovered. Women who are or may be pregnant should check with their health care provider.

Can I get the flu from the flu shot?

No. Since the vaccine is non-infectious, it cannot cause the flu. The shot, given in the arm, causes few side effects with the most common being soreness at the injection site. Less than one third of those who receive the vaccine experience fever, aches or malaise, which may last one to two days.

Is the new chickenpox (Varicella) vaccine just for children?

No. Although most adults are immune to chickenpox, those who are not should speak with their clinician about the benefits and risks of being vaccinated. Pregnant women should not take this vaccine, and pregnancy should be avoided for three months following vaccination.

I'm planning a trip to South America. Should I get the new Hepatitis A vaccine?

Perhaps. Travelers to Africa, Middle East, Central and South America and Asia (except Japan) may benefit when given the hepatitis vaccine at least two weeks prior to departure. Depending on your destination, your physician or International Travel Care at the UHS can recommend additional vaccinations to keep you healthy.

As a 35-year-old woman in good health, do I have other immunization needs?

Yes. The place to begin is to talk with your primary care clinician who can tailor immunization recommendations to your age, sex, lifestyle, work and family exposure, health status, etc. Adults need a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years. Other vaccines to discuss: measles, mumps, rubella (MMR); hepatitis A; hepatitis B; pneumococcal; rubella and poliovirus. Coverage for vaccinations varies between health care plans.

Where To Go for More Help . . .

The University Health Service is providing a series of flu shot clinics for staff, faculty and students at the Tang Center on the following days and times. The flu shot is most effective if received in late October or early November to promote resistance before December's flu season. No appointment is necessary. Cost is $7.50.

* Tuesday, Oct. 3. 11 am-6 pm

* Monday, Oct. 9. 11 am-6 pm

* Thursday, Oct. 20. Noon-6 pm

* Wednesday, Nov. 8. Noon-6 pm

* Thursday, Nov. 16. Noon-6 pm

For immunizations prior to traveling abroad, call International Travel Care at 642-2970.

Pam Cameron is a nurse at the University Health Service.

Next Month's Topic:

Choosing Health Insurance: Guidelines for Making Sure Your Plan Meets Your Needs

Staff Enrichment

Computer Training

Beginning and intermediate level half-day and full-day PC and Macintosh microcomputer training classes will be offered Oct. 24 through Nov. 16 by Workstation Support Services:

Macintosh Full-Day Classes:

* Microsoft Excel 5.0 (Beginning)

* Filemaker Pro (Beginning,


* Aldus PageMaker 5.0 (2 days)

Macintosh Half-Day Classes:

* Macintosh Fundamentals

(using System 7.5)

* Microsoft Word 6.0 (Beginning,


* Microsoft Excel 5.0 Worksheets


IBM PC (DOS) Half-Day Classes:

* Windows 3.1 (Beginning )

IBM PC (DOS) Full-Day Classes:

* Microsoft Excel 5.0 for Windows


* Microsoft Word for Windows 6.0


* WordPerfect 6.1 for Windows


Most classes have prerequisites. Potential students should call 642-8899 for assistance in determining which level is appropriate.

For course dates, fees and registration forms, call 642-7355. Course descriptions and forms also available online through the Workstation Support Services (WSS)Web server (

Employee Development And Training

For more information, for copies of the 1995-96 Employee Development & Training catalog, or to enroll in classes, call 642-8134.

Management Academy

Information Session

Oct. 4, 12:15-1:00 pm, Room 24, University Hall.

Informal brown bag with the program director of the1996 Management Academy, scheduled for Jan. 9 to 11 at the Clark Kerr Campus. Information also available by calling 642-3595. Application deadline is Nov. 3.

Creating and Using Flow Charts

Oct. 4, 1:30-3:30 pm.

All about flow charts: their most effective uses and how to construct one.

Facilitation Techniques

Oct. 6 and 13, 8:30 am-4:30 pm.

Discussion, lecture, and skills practice focusing on how to increase participant involvement and learning. Participants will have the opportunity to facilitate a group discussion that will be videotaped, and will receive feedback on their strengths and skills.


For Career Planning

Five-week series: Oct. 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 8:30 am-noon.

Participants will develop an inventory of work-related skills, interests, values, environmental preferences and lifestyle issues; then set goals and begin making decisions on career development training. The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) and Strong Interest Inventory will be used in this workshop.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Oct. 18, 10 am-noon.

A wide range of creative work arrangements will be explored, including flexible schedules, compressed work weeks, part-time work, partial-year appointments, job sharing and telecommuting. Discussion will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of arrangement in any given work setting.

Basic Skills Tutors Needed

The CALS Project, a free one-to-one tutoring program for campus employees, is seeking volunteers to work with employees who ask for help improving their writing, speaking, reading and basic math skills. No prior experience is required. Noontime tutor training will begin October 9. For more information, contact Project Coordinator Jane Griswold at 643-5280 or email:


Cindy Cox, assistant professor of music; Richard Felciano, professor in the graduate school; and Olly Wilson, professor and chair of the Department of Music, are the recipients of 1995-96 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Awards. In granting the cash awards, an independent panel of musical experts looked at "the unique prestige value of each writer's catalog of original compositions, as well as recent performances of those works."

Leo Goodman, Class of 1938 Professor, Department of Sociology and the Department of Statistics, was presented with the American Sociological Association's 1995 Award for a Career of Distinguished Scholarship at the association's annual meeting in Washington, DC. The award citation states, in part, that "Goodman's contributions to sociology are broad and deep. His name is associated especially with advances in categorical data analysis. He is far and away the most imporatant scholar in the development of these methods....His contributions have transformed the way we work."

George Leitman, emeritus professor of engineering, professor in the graduate school, and president of the Alexander von Humboldt Association of America, was honored by the association on the occasion of his 70th birthday. The association sponsored a reception and dinner in Berkeley attended by 120 Humboldt fellows, awardees and distinguished guests. At the dinner, Leitman was presented with a proclamation from the Russian Consulate, citing his contributions to science, engineering and international relations.

A subsequent symposium in honor of Leitman, organized by colleagues and former students, featured presenters from 14 countries. At a dinner following the symposium, the Bellman Continuum Society presented Leitman with the first Bellman Continuum Award of Excellence dedicated to the continuation of the work of reknowned mathematician Richard Bellman.

Leitman also has been elected a corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and a foreign member of the Academy of Engineering of the Republic of Georgia.

In November, Leitman will be presented with the 1995 Rufus Oldenburger Medal at the annual meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The medal is awarded for outstanding achievements in the field of automatic control; in Leitman's case, for "significant contributions to the theory and application of optimal control and differential games, and for pioneering work in the deterministic treatment of uncertainties in linear and nonlinear control systems."

Richard S. Muller, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and director of the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center, received the Renaissance Engineering and Science Award from his alma mater, Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. The honor recognizes those who reflect the essence of creativity and who, at every stage of their careers, are setting new standards in technology. The award presentation took place aboard a yacht on San Francisco Bay.

David Schweidel, administrative assistant in the Dean's Office, College of Engineering, received the Milkweed National Fiction Prize for his novel, "Confidence of the Heart." An adventure tale set in the post-civil war chaos of Guatemala, "Confidence of the Heart" was published by Milkweed Editions in May.

Linda Weimer, Assistant Vice Chancellor--Public Affairs, has been elected to a three-year term on the board of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and is the new chair of the national CASE Communications Commission.

Karla Zadnik, associate clinical professor of optometry and senior research optometrist, is the recipient of the American Optometric Foundation's 1995 Glenn A. Fry Lecture Award. Zadnik will present her lecture, "Myopia Development in Childhood," Dec. 10 at the American Academy of Optometry's annual meeting in New Orleans. The lecture text will then be published in the the AAO Journal, "Optometry and Vision Science."

The Glenn A. Fry Award is presented annually to a distinguished scientist for outstanding research contributions. Zadnik was selected for her work on a seven-year study of myopia development and normal eye growth in school children.


Copyright 1995, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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