For the first time since the breakout of the swine flu, the BYU Student Health Center and Utah County Health Department will be teaming up to offer flu shots from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, in the Wilkinson Center. The two organizations’ goal in giving flu shots is to lessen the magnitude of the flu at BYU.
Students who are on the BYU health plan will be able to receive the vaccination free of charge. Students on alternative health plans will be able to receive the flu shot at reduced rates from the Utah County Health Department. The BYU Public Health Association will also be giving out pizza to the first 100 participants who agree to fill out a survey and get immunized.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, “Flu is a serious contagious disease that causes illness and related hospitalizations and deaths every year in the United States. Flu seasons can vary in severity. Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of 49,000 people.”
Allie Yost, vice president of the BYU Public Health Association, said students should take advantage of this simple opportunity to fight the flu before it’s too late.
“BYU students aren’t the best at getting their flu shots,” Yost said. “We understand that there are people who have really strong feelings about the flu shot. There are people who have never gotten the flu shot, and there are people who could care less about the flu shot. It is easy and fast, and that is what we are really trying to get across. You can grab your flu shot, grab lunch and go back to class.”
The event is expected to draw several hundred or more students, said Rulon Barlow, director of the Student Health Center.
“As the BYU Public Health Association, we wanted to do something that would benefit our club members and the entire school body,” said Shannon Mason, president of the BYU Public Health Association. “This campaign has been a great opportunity for BPHA members to incorporate the skills we have learned in our public health classes and apply them in a setting that is very meaningful to us. As students, we are all so busy, and getting a flu vaccine is pretty low on most people’s list of priorities. So if students can’t go get the flu shot, we will bring the flu shot to the students.”
A meme campaign has also been launched online to accompany the effort and raise awareness throughout the BYU population. Yost said many hours were put into the creation of these memes in order to draw people to the event.
For information regarding the flu virus and vaccine, Yost suggests paying a visit to www.CDC.gov.