BYU Employee Wellness hosts adult vaccination clinic

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The BYU Employee Wellness center, in conjunction with the Utah County Health Department, hosted its semi-annual adult immunization clinic for BYU employees and their spouses this November.

BYU faculty, staff and their spouses are eligible to receive whichever of the offered vaccinations they are due for. The Centers for Disease Control recommends yearly flu vaccinations for everyone six months of age and older.

According to the CDC, seasonal health concerns commonly referred to as “flu season” include influenza viruses as well as other respiratory viruses which circulate more heavily during the winter months. The CDC refers to fall and winter as “Respiratory Disease Season.”

Other circulating illnesses can reach peak infection rates during winter months, including COVID-19 and RSV.

“Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, although significant activity can last as late as May,” the CDC website explained.

Current data shows the rate of influenza infection is trending upwards as of Nov. 29.

According to the CDC website, vaccines for all three major respiratory viruses — COVID-19, flu and RSV — will be available this fall, a first in U.S. history.

BYU Employee Wellness, with the support of the Utah County Health Department, offers vaccine clinics every fall and spring. The CDC recommends the yearly flu shot as the best way to avoid serious complications related to the flu. (Photo courtesy of Mufid Majnun on Unsplash)

Older adults and young children, as well as those at higher risk of developing serious complications from respiratory illnesses, are recommended for vaccination against RSV. All populations are recommended for flu and COVID-19 vaccination.

Vaccines offered at the BYU Employee Wellness vaccination clinic included Flu, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Twinrix, TDAP, Shingrix and the Pneumonia shot, according to BYU’s Human Resource Development site. Cost depended on an individual’s insurance coverage and the vaccinations they requested, but self-pay was available.

Aislynn Tolman-Hill, public information officer for the Utah County Health Department, said the clinic at BYU was not unusual.

“Every year we offer somewhere around 200 off-site clinics to businesses, employers, where our staff will go and do a clinic in-person for that particular business, so that employees don’t have to come to either the health department or the pharmacy to get either their flu shot or other vaccines,” Tolman-Hill said.

Adam Parker, a participant at the clinic, said he was there to receive his yearly flu shot.

“I don’t want the flu,” he said. 

The convenience of the clinic helps motivate Parker to receive his yearly shot.

BYU employee wellness, along with the Utah County Health Department, offers vaccine clinics every fall and spring. The CDC recommends the yearly flu shot as the best way to avoid serious complications related to the flu. (BYU Photo)

“It makes it easy. I can just walk here,” Parker said. “If I had to drive too far away, I probably wouldn’t do it.”

According to the CDC website, the most effective way to reduce the risk of contracting the flu and its potentially serious complications is by receiving annual flu vaccinations.

“We have this clinic every fall and spring, so twice a year,” Skye Berns, a BYU Wellness employee, said. “It makes it easier to bring them to the faculty members on campus.”

Berns said about one to two hundred employees usually attend the clinic.

“It’s usually a pretty good turn out. People always want to get their vaccines,” Berns said.

Berns explained the BYU Employee Wellness Center is not necessarily focused on the flu or vaccinations in particular, but rather overall health.

“We don’t deal as much with the flu, but it’s definitely a concern. We don’t want people to be sick. We’re trying to make people healthier and happier, more productive at work, that’s our main goal, so preventing the flu is important for us, but it’s really the Student Health Center and the Utah County Health department that really want to get the vaccines out,” Berns said.

November’s vaccination clinic was just one way the BYU Employee Wellness Center is promoting health around campus.

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