It’s that time of year when students across campus are getting sick with the flu, and University Health Services hopes to prevent that from happening.
Today, UHS starts its four week flu shot campaign with its first clinic from 12–4 p.m. in Student Services Building G1.310. Vaccinations will be provided several days per week through Oct. 20. Most insured students, including those with UT SELECT, can be vaccinated for free, and students who are not covered can get vaccinated for $10 with their UT ID.
“The more people we can immunize, the less people get the flu,” said Sherry Bell, UHS consumer educator and outreach coordinator. Bell said UHS takes most insurances except for government insurances like Medicare and Medicaid. Students without coverage can pay up front or have the bill charged to their What I Owe account.
“We’re trying to break down as many barriers as possible by providing students services all over campus,” Bell said.
Director of nursing services Kathy Mosteller said it’s important for students to get their flu shot early.
“It takes two weeks before you are protected after you get the shot,” Mosteller said. “We see it earlier and earlier each year.”
According to the 2017 National College Health Assessment, one out of eight students said colds, flu and sore throats affected their individual academic performance. Bell said the vaccine uses a dead flu virus so the body knows how to fight off the virus. The vaccine does not give recipients the flu like some may believe.
“The shot we’re using here … protects against four strands of the flu, and it does not contain preservatives,” Bell said.
Psychology sophomore Kyanna Richard said she believes the flu shot campaign is beneficial to students.
“Not everyone can just go home and get a flu shot, so I’m glad they offer it here for cheap or free of cost,” Richard said.
UHS will be set up at multiple spots across campus, and Mosteller said UHS has help from part-time workers, volunteer nurses and even students.
“The greatest reason this is a success are the … nursing and pharmacy students,” Mosteller said.
The schedule can be found at https://www.healthyhorns.utexas.edu/fluoncampus.html.