In accordance with National Influenza Vaccination Week, the ACU Medical Clinic is encouraging students to stop by for a flu shot – or two.
Because of the prevalence of the infamous H1N1 virus, students are advised to get the seasonal flu and the H1N1 vaccines, said Michelle Drew, family nurse practitioner at the ACU Clinic.
“People this year, to be fully protected, need to get two vaccines,” Drew said.
The typical flu season lasts from the beginning of November through sometime in May; however, with H1N1 on the scene this year, Drew said some flu strain has been circulating in and around Taylor County since last May, and its end is impossible to predict.
So far, Drew said the clinic has administered four times as many seasonal flu vaccinations on campus as in previous years because of H1N1.
The clinic has roughly 2,100 H1N1 vaccines and 1,500 seasonal vaccines on hand. Drew said if the clinic runs out, the staff will do everything they can to meet the needs of students and faculty.
“The seasonal is the harder to get a hold of because all of the manufacturers stopped producing the seasonal in order to start making the H1N1,” Drew said. “We will continue to order as long as we can get it. It is all about supply and demand.”
H1N1 vaccines are provided by the state for free, but seasonal vaccines are $15. Students have the option to charge that fee to their Banner account.
No appointment is needed to get a flu shot; students can just walk into the clinic and request one or both vaccines. Drew said one is injected, and the other is an intranasal spray. Students must fill out a brief consent form and answer a few questions to make sure they are good candidates for the vaccines. Then they get their vaccines and go on their way. Drew said it takes a matter of minutes.
Ashleigh Banda, junior nursing major from Dallas, said she received her first-ever flu shot last semester. Banda said she decided to get a flu shot because it was convenient and better than contracting the flu. She said the shot was painless, and it worked.
“It was really quick and easy.” Banda said. “I just signed a piece of paper, and they sat me down and swabbed me. I would say it was over in 10 seconds.”