Univ. gives free flu shots
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 19:04
Student Health Services held its first free flu vaccine clinic in Trabant University Center in order to increase their efforts to vaccinate as many students as possible to prepare for the upcoming flu season.
Previously students have paid $12 for the center’s flu shot.
Physician Director of Student Health Services Joseph Seibold said the center received feedback in past years from students coming in after getting sick, who said that the line was too long to get the flu shot or it took too much time out of their day.
They decided to take a different approach this year to solve the problem.
“We thought, ‘Let’s go to where the students are rather than asking them to come to Health Services,’ and we thought if we had it in the Trabant Center we would have a little bit more of an uptake,” Siebold said.
Student Health Services nurse Lisa Romano, who was administering the vaccinations, said she attributed the increase in student shots this year to the convenience of the location of the clinic.
“It’s harder for people to get in to Student Health; this way we are capturing people where they are,” Romano said. “We’ve had a huge turnout.”
The department offers students the vaccine free of charge, as long as they have paid their health fee. However, according to Siebold, there are only a limited number of vaccines available to students.
“We set a number aside for the free vaccines,” Siebold said. “We obviously can’t give unlimited vaccines to everybody. We had a number in mind, and that is why you see in the advertisements, ‘While supplies last.’”
He said when the free vaccinations run out, the center will not provide more.
Senior Brian Scally, however, said that he has never gotten nor will he ever get a flu shot.
“For some people it is important to get the flu shot, but for me I’ve just had good luck and a good immune system,” Scally said. “It’s just not worth the time to get one. There is also always a risk with vaccines and, because I’ve never gotten the flu, I just don’t want to take the chance.”
Siebold said although people have expressed concerns about the dangers of the vaccine, it is very safe, especially for adolescents and young adults. The only side effects students should expect to see is a little soreness at the injection site and possibly a low-grade fever.
The flu shot Student Health Services is administering is a “killed vaccine,” which contains a mercury-free dead strand of the virus, Siebold said. Live virus flu vaccines, such as the nasal-spray form, exist but do not create as much of an immune response as the weakened form and cannot be given to people with certain health conditions, such as asthma.
“The Center of Disease control, as you know, is recommending everybody from six months on up to get the vaccine,” Siebold said. “It’s the only way you can prevent getting the flu. And no vaccine is 100 percent, so the more of us that get vaccinated— we actually can protect those people who we love.”
Junior Amanda Mauser said she probably would not get the shot every year if it was not offered on campus.