The annual University of Alabama flu shot campaign kicks off September 12, 2018, and continues through late November with free flu shots provided at locations across campus, including the Quad, university buildings and student residence halls.
The goal of the campaign, led by UA’s College of Community Health Sciences and now in its seventh year, is to make getting a flu shot as easy and convenient as possible. The shots are free and no insurance is required, although students and employees will need to provide their campus-wide identification number, or CWID.
Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, persons at high risk for flu-related complications are children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum, and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Wyndy Looney, Director of Nursing for CCHS, informs that, with rare exception, the CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age or older, including pregnant women and individuals with medical conditions.
“Getting vaccinated yourself also protects those around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness; for example, babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions,” says Looney. “This concept is called community immunity, or herd immunity. When enough people are vaccinated against a certain disease, it is more difficult for germs to easily spread from person to person, meaning everyone becomes less likely to get the disease.”
Spouses of employees can receive the free flu vaccines at the campus flu shot stations or at the UA Faculty-Staff Clinic in University Medical Center, and insurance is not required. Children of employees with UA health insurance can receive flu vaccinations at University Medical Center, and children of employees with non-UA health insurance can receive flu shots at the UA Faculty-Staff Clinic if their insurance has previously approved nurse practitioner coverage.
In addition to the flu shot stations, vaccinations will be provided at University Medical Center and its Faculty-Staff Clinic.