UNH offered free flu vaccinations in the Hamel Recreation Center on Monday, Oct. 17. All UNH students, faculty and staff members were welcome, as part of the university’s effort to prevent outbreaks throughout campus. The school also provided a clinic where vaccinations were available earlier this month.
Approximately 1,900 flu shots have been distributed so far this year according to community health nurse and Health Services Wellness Educator Judy Stevens. She also said that Health Services has plans in effect for more clinics in different locations.
The convenient location at the recreation center was a way for students and faculty members to get their flu shots without leaving campus. UNH nursing students administered the shots for practice.
Sophomore nursing major Megan Butler said that she didn’t participate in the clinic this year because of her underclass status.
“The juniors run the clinic at school, so I will be doing it next year,” Butler said. “For the first time, they let us give each other our flu shots in our labs this year though.”
The nursing program is the only major at UNH that is required to get an annual flu shot and Butler said that she agrees with the flu shot requirement for the program.
“I don’t mind,” Butler said. “I think it’s a good idea to try to prevent the chance of us getting our patients sick.
This requirement is put in place because of the constant contact nursing students have with potential bacteria and germs.
According to the Undergraduate Course Catalog for Nursing at UNH, “All clinical documents must be received by July 1 before the sophomore year, except flu vaccine, which is due by Oct. 15, and remain up to date until graduation.”
The eight-month-long flu season begins in October, flu vaccinations typically require three to seven days to improve a person’s immune system by developing the correct antibodies. With that in mind, now would be the ideal time for students, faculty and staff members to get their vaccinations.
If people were unable to attend the clinic, flu shots are still available at Health Services. Appointments can be made through email or phone, and walk-ins are accepted as well.
For college students, convenience is important. UNH junior Alyssa LeClair said that she got her flu shot through her personal doctor’s office on Oct. 3 when she went for her annual physical.
“They asked me if I wanted a flu shot and I said, ‘Sure why not,’” LeClair said. “I want to prevent getting the flu this winter and missing school.”
When asked if she would’ve gone to Health Services if she didn’t get the vaccination from her normal doctor, LeClair said no. She said that she only got the flu vaccination because it was offered to her when she was already there and if the situation were not presented to her, she wouldn’t have gone out of her way to get the flu shot.
Health Services, located on the corner of Main Street and Pettee Brook Lane across from Holloway Commons, is open every week day from 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m and weekends from 12–4 p.m. Through Health Services, the flu shot is free for any degree student enrolled in five or more credit hours and who has paid the mandatory health fee.
Listed on the UNH Health Services website are helpful tips on how to avoid the flu, such as washing hands, covering coughs and not sharing drinks. The website also provides steps on what to do if a student does get the flu.