With a total of 642 people vaccinated, the semiannual flu immunization clinic at the Lee Medical Building had its highest turnout in years, according to Jill Munger.
Munger, a state-employed community health nurse, was one of six nurses who administered shots to University of South Dakota staff Oct. 16.
She said there were two reasons for the record turnout. First, anyone in healthcare is now mandated to get a flu immunization, and some medical school employees thought that might include them. Second, the Ebola scare has people thinking about all sorts of infectious diseases, such as influenza, Munger said.
One of the 642 staff members to be vaccinated was earth sciences professor Tim Heaton.
Heaton said he chose to receive his immunization on campus instead of in a traditional clinic setting.
“It’s free, and it was a two-minute walk,” Heaton said.
The clinic was put on by Clay County Community Health exclusively for staff, but previous clinics for students have been held at the Muenster University Center, Wellness Center, Lee Medical Building and even Coyote Village.
The most immunizations were given at the Lee Medical Building, since health affairs students were required to get a flu shot.
Sanford has put on clinics at the MUC and Wellness Center, which were free for students 18 or younger. A total of 1,500 flu vaccinations have been administered by Sanford Vermillion this flu season.
First-year Tyler Wilson took the opportunity to get a flu shot on campus at a clinic earlier in the semester.
“It was free. There was convenience,” Wilson said. “I saw the poster up in our dorms and I decided I wanted a flu shot, because I had gotten it every other year beforehand, and I never got the flu.”
First-year Jena Dreyer also received a flu immunization at the MUC, which was more convenient than getting it in her hometown.
“I didn’t want to have to drive all the way back to Sioux Falls to get a flu shot, and it was free,” she said.
[notification type=”grey” title=”A message from the South Dakota Department of Health to prevent flu, colds and other infectious diseases:”]Get your flu shot. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand gel. If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth. If you’re sick, stay home.[/notification]
The time to get a flu immunization is drawing to a close, but Sanford Vermillion will offer $22 injections as well as $30 nasal spray treatments Oct. 23 from 4-6 p.m. in the Sanford clinic lobby.
Any student wanting a flu immunization can also make an appointment with Student Health Services.
(Photo: Stephanie Kocher, an adjunct music instructor at the University of South Dakota, is given a flu shot by nurse Mary Greenlee Oct. 16 in the Lee Medical Building. A total of 642 people received the flu shot at the semiannual flu immunization clinic, making it the highest ever turnout for the clinic. Mikkelle Carlson / The Volante)