With flu season nearly here, the Student Health Center is gearing up with vaccines and incentives for students to get their shot before it’s too late.
The Student Health Center began hosting clinics Oct. 1 in 11 buildings around campus to provide easy access to the vaccine for busy students and faculty. These clinics will continue to be available on campus through Nov. 7. The vaccine, which lasts 12 months, is also available at the Student Health Center by appointment.
“The vaccine contains a killed virus that stimulates your immune system to build up resistance to this year’s predicted strains,” Student Health Center Executive Director Susan Even said in a news release.
Contrary to popular belief, the shot does not give you the flu, Even said. It takes the body a few weeks to develop a resistance after administering the shot, so if you get sick afterward, it is likely the virus was already in your body.
To encourage taking preventative health measures this season, the Student Health Center hosted Student Health Week from Oct. 8 to 11. Students who received the flu shot at the clinics in the student center were given a free cupcake and were entered into a drawing for gift cards to the Student Recreation Complex or the MU Bookstore.
This year, students, faculty and staff can receive their shots from any clinic. In the past, for insurance reasons, there were separate clinics for students and faculty.
Deneal Sullivan, the Student Health Center director of clinical services, said the center was also able to lower the cost of the vaccine this year from $15 to $12.
Sullivan said the Student Health Center tries to get out to locations they know experience a lot of traffic as well as convenient locations for students majoring in health professions.
“We do it at specific places where we think they’re maybe not necessarily high risk, but like the College of Education, they’re out in the classroom doing student teaching, so we need to make sure they have their flu shots,” Sullivan said. “We go to the vet school, we go to all of the colleges of nursing, medicine, all of the health professions.”
Sophomore Anna Shirley said she got her flu shot on Monday after passing through the Student Center and noticing a sign advertising the vaccine.
“I’ve already had a couple of illnesses this year, so I thought for this winter I definitely need to give myself the best chance I got," she said. "I do like getting a flu shot because campus is just so crowded and everyone uses everything."
Sullivan said there have already been a couple of confirmed cases of flu in MU students and encourages all students to spare a few minutes to get their flu shot.
“It does look like it’s maybe going to be a bad season this year, for some reason,” she said.