Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack Brandt September 13, 2023

Free Flu shots for students

Brandon Marcy (Senior) recieves flu shot from RN Theresa Haggard Rock Island County Health Dept.

On Wednesday, October 4th, Augustana College had its first free flu shot clinic for students in the Gavle rooms from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dr. Lena Hann is an assistant professor of public health and she works in the public health program at Augustana. Last year when she heard faculty and staff had their own clinic that was not open to students, she worked with Dr. Dara Wegman Geedey, a professor of biology, and they got permission from the administration to have the event. They invited the Rock Island County Health Department to come help with the event because it covers more than a dozen insurance policies, enabling most students to receive the shots for free. Without an insurance policy the flu shot costs $30.
Flu season can last from September until May. The flu can easily be passed along on a small college campus where the classrooms are more intimate, professors have meetings, and students share rooms. Last year, Dr. Hann noticed a lot of students catching the flu and getting very sick from it. She wanted to bring the clinic to the students. The flu is highly contagious, so Dr. Hann says if students should contract the flu they should drink lots of fluids, get rest, and most importantly, refrain from going to class or any other school-related activities.
By 1pm the clinic had already given shots to about 150 students.
The event was a walk-in clinic, so not reservations ahead of time were necessary. The average time it took for a student to check in to then get a shot and leave was about five minutes, but for some it was only two minutes for the whole process.
“The overwhelming positive response that we’ve received has been incredible. So, I’m excited to see if we notice few sick students this winter and spring,” Dr. Hann said.
Dr. Hann would like to host the event again next year. She said people should get a flu shot every year because the strain of the flu can change so what vaccine worked this year won’t be helpful for the following year. She is not sure at this point if they will host the faculty clinic at the same time as the student one or not. She believes that hosting both together might decrease confusion and increase participation for everyone.
Adam Lydigsen-Grimes is a senior and president of Augustana Community Health Outreach Organization (ACHOO). He wants students to know that the flu is a very common disease that is also easily preventable with a vaccine. He worked with the Augustana Student Medical Reserve CorpTK (AS-MRC). “I feel like if we keep doing this event reoccurring that we’ll get more students getting their vaccines each year and it’ll help prevent the flu from spreading.”
Another student to get a flu shot was Shelby Kuepker, a junior. She wanted to make sure she would be healthy this school year. She says they should host this event again because “lots of students don’t want to take the time to go to a pharmacy to get their shot, so it’s nice having it right here.”
The Public Health Department will be putting on other events. This week the Project of the Quad Cities – an HIV prevention and outreach program – will be offering HIV testing at Augustana. Students, faculty, and staff can participate in this event. It will be co-hosted by +IMPACT, the new Augustana Sexual Education club, and the Ladies of Vital Essence (L.O.V.E).

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Free Flu shots for students