UMD Health Services offers convenient flu vaccinations for staff, students

 Illustration by: Will Madison

Illustration by: Will Madison

The fall season is often associated with comfy sweaters, pumpkin spiced lattes and apple pie. Often forgotten, the season is also associated with the influenza virus, commonly known as the flu.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness with symptoms including a cough, sore throat and runny nose. Flu clinic coordinator Lori Kunkel believes it’s important for college students to get their flu shot every year.

“On college campuses, influenza viruses are known to circulate rapidly through constant exposure in close quarters like in common living spaces, classrooms, shared restrooms and social activities,” Kunkel said.

Every year, Health Services, in addition to UMD Wellness staff and the College of Pharmacy students, provide a free flu vaccination clinic to all students and staff. This year’s flu clinics will be held on Oct. 10 and again on Nov. 1, both from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Kirby Rafters.  Students don’t need to provide insurance information, but are requested to bring their student ID’s.

“We tend to vaccinate more students than staff on the UMD campus, which is a positive, as our target audience is students,” Kunkel said.

If students aren’t available on either of those days, they can schedule an appointment with Health Services to get their free flu shot.

According to the CDC, the most important way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination. They also recommend common preventative actions such as washing your hands and covering coughs and sneezes.

“Students also have busy schedules, which is exactly why offering flu shots on campus makes [staying healthy] easier for students,” Kunkel said.

 

NewsSamantha Church