By Ryan Hickey
Some 635 students rolled up their sleeves and took a jab in the arm last week in a bid to tamp down influenza.
The Health center offered free flu shots in a pop-up clinic at the Bronco Student Center.
Officials said it was the first free clinic they could recall.
“With it being at the BSC and the help from the medical staff, the clinic was a big success,” said Fernando Diaz, a Senior Coordinator for Health Services.
From September through March of last school year, the Health Center gave out 650 vaccine shots.
Within an eight hour period last week, the Health Center nearly matched last year’s total.
“Not having to walk up the hill made it an easy decision whether to get the shot,” said Jorge Ovando, fourth year Kinesiology major.
Other students also mentioned that they would be more inclined to get a flu shot since they would not need to walk or drive up to the Health Center’s main location.
The Health Center worked the process of getting a vaccination into a period of roughly 25 minutes.
These shots not only encourage students to take an extra step against preventing the contraction of an illness, but also promote the Health Center and its resources.
“I was going to get the flu shot anyways, but while I’m on campus – Why not get it here?” said Marc-Andre Beaulibu, fourth year geology student.
A booth was held outside of the BSC at University Park catching passing students who were on the fence about getting a shot.
Being older than 18 and knowing one’s bronco identification number are required to get the shot.
Students signed a form stating they were not allergic to vaccines.
Several nurses and medical assistants administered the vaccine, making sure students did not wait long in line.
Students enjoyed a light snack while resting in the clinic area to make sure they didn’t become ill.
After the shot the side effects students can expect are soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given, a low grade fever and aches.
The benefits outweigh the side effects, some include keeping one from getting sick, making one’s illness milder if they do get sick, it reduces the risk of flu associated hospitalization and it prevents others from getting the flu.
Millions of people get the flu every year, and tens of thousands die every year from flu related causes.
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases reports, “college students, living in high-touch areas and juggling overloaded schedules, are largely unaware of their vulnerability to the illness.”
Students who missed the clinic but still want a flu shot should make an appointment at the Health Center.
The first appointments start after Nov. 6. Vaccinations are limited so earlier the appointment the better.
Students feeling sick, who have Guillain-Barre Syndrome, allergic to eggs or other vaccines should not get the shot.
The Health Center recommends an annual flu shot because influenza changes every year.
Taylor Story / The Poly Post
Students were more inclined to stop for flu shots because the facility was in the center of campus.
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