Nearly 4,000 flu shots have been given in less than a month to University of Alabama students, faculty and staff as part of the University’s annual campus-wide effort to vaccinate against the flu. The College is leading the effort to vaccinate the UA community for the fourth year in a row.
The campaign, which started in early September, will continue into November. Last year, more than 8,000 vaccinations were given. The shots are provided at no charge, and insurance is not required. Students and employees need to provide their Campus Wide Identification.
Flu shots are being provided at sites across campus, including the Quad, University buildings, student residence halls and the University’s Student Health Fair and Employee Health Fair. Vaccines are being administered by nurses from the College’s University Medical Center, the University’s Student Health Center and the Capstone College of Nursing. WellBAMA is also participating in the campaign.
A list of dates, times and locations can be found at cchs.ua.edu/flushot.
Flu shots are being provided at University Medical Center and its Faculty-Staff Clinic.
Spouses of employees can get the free flu vaccines at the flu shot stations or at the Faculty-Staff Clinic at University Medical Center; insurance is not required. Children of all employees can also receive flu vaccinations.
The flu remains a serious threat, says Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of the College.
“Tens of thousands of people in the country who are unprotected by the vaccine will become ill, miss work, have complications or even require hospitalization,” Streiffer says. “And for those at the greatest risk — the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions — the stakes are even higher. Thousands of deaths occur from the flu some years. We can all do our part to lower the risk for ourselves and for others. Get protected. Get your flu shot.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone aged 6 months and older get a flu vaccine annually. According to the CDC, a flu vaccine is needed every year because flu viruses are constantly changing, and it is not unusual for new flu viruses to appear. The flu vaccine is formulated each year to keep up with the flu viruses as they change.
Risks associated with receiving a flu shot are extremely small, and the viruses in the flu shot are inactivated so they cannot cause the flu, according to the CDC. For more information, visit cchs.ua.edu/flushot.