Student Health Center to hold annual flu shot clinic

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Students are encouraged to schedule a flu shot at the Student Health Center if they cannot attend the clinic. The SHC is located at 1750 N. Wymount Terrace Dr. in Provo. (Gianluca Cuestas)

The Student Health Center will hold its flu shot clinic on Friday, Sept. 23, on the quad between the Harold B. Lee Library and the Wilkinson Student Center.

Students will receive flu shots from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for no upfront cost, although students’ insurance will be billed. The Student Health Center will provide free T-shirts and refreshments to participants, and Cosmo and the BYU cheerleaders will be present.

Debbie Eyre, who works with marketing at the Student Health Center, said she had high hopes for the flu shot clinic.

“It will be a really fun event,” Eyre said.

Student Health Center nursing supervisor Kim Christensen said they are expecting a large turnout. The first time they held the clinic in 2014, there were about 250 participants. That number rose to 800 in 2015, and Christensen predicted this year’s turnout will be between 800 and 1,000 people.

Christensen said he is adamant students get a flu shot whenever possible.

“People die from the flu every year,” he said. “So it’s not a good idea to take that risk.”

Christensen addressed some concerns people may have about getting the shot, such as getting the flu as a result of the vaccine. Christensen said this is not true, and while you may get another strain of the flu, the vaccine does lessen your risk of other strains it may not cover.

BYU nursing student Madeline Alame said she agrees flu shots are a good idea, even if students don’t think they’ll get sick. She said there are several strains in the flu virus, and the most prominent strain is pinpointed each year, so vaccinations from different years will fight slightly different strains.

“It’s important to get them every year,” she said. “Getting one every year builds up your immunity to the different strains.”

Alame, who has already received her flu shot, said college students are at a high risk to get sick because they live in densely populated areas. She said it’s a good idea for students to do anything they can to keep it from spreading.

“It’d be miserable if you got all your friends sick,” she said. “And babies. You don’t want to get a poor baby sick either.”

Christensen said aside from getting the vaccination, living a healthy lifestyle will help students stay healthy as flu season approaches.

“Students need to eat balanced meals and get adequate sleep,” Christensen said. “Most students don’t get either.”

If students are unable to attend the clinic, Eyre said she recommends scheduling a flu shot at the Student Health Center on their own time. The Health Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., except when closed for devotionals.

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