Free flu vaccines will be available from University of Idaho Student Health Services Oct. 9, 15, 28 and 29 at various locations across campus.
The university purchased 2000 influenza vaccines that will be available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 9 in a classroom at the Student Recreation Center.
Vaccinations will also be available from 3:30 – 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 in the Kibbie Dome Training Room. They will also be available in the TLC 143 Lounge from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 28 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 29. Both influenza and meningitis vaccines will be available on all dates.
Shannon Haselhuhn, health education program coordinator, said the goal is to give students multiple times and locations to receive vaccinations.
“It saves students from a doctor’s visit, nothing is billed to their insurance,” Haselhuhn said. “It’s very quick and easy at convenient locations.”
Prior to this year, the Student Health Center has provided vaccinations at the health center, but this year has decided to adjust to make vaccinations
more accessible to students and free of charge.
“Even if a relatively healthy student gets influenza, they’re going to be home for at least three days and maybe even longer, so if we can prevent that, it would be a great thing,” said Kim Blewett, a doctor at the Student Health Center.
Seven nursing students from Lewis Clark State College will give the vaccine with the help of nursing supervisors.
Blewett said although not all carriers of the flu virus experience symptoms, without vaccination, a carrier can transfer the virus from one person to another. She said before displaying symptoms of influenza, one is contagious about two days prior and can spread the virus without knowing it.
“We would like to get as many people on campus as possible vaccinated, especially with student groups living so close together in close quarters, being protected against the flu can help stop the spread,” Haselhuhn said.
Symptoms of the flu can include a 100-degree or higher fever or feeling feverish, a cough and sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, headaches or body aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting
Students will only need to fill out a short form before receiving vaccinations.
“I would encourage students to take a few minutes and come get a flu shot, it is a very easy process, all they need is a vandal card,” Haselhuhn said.
Vaccines are seasonal and should be received annually, she said.
“It’s important to stay healthy because most students have a hard time missing even one day of classes and with influenza in particular you’re usually pretty sick for three to four days,” Blewett said.
The Student Health Center is unsure if providing free flu shots will continue annually.
Arianna Anchustegui can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org