By JAMIE LAROUNIS
On Friday, Oct 7, the first of three flu shot clinics organized by the Student Health Center was held at the University of Mary Washington.
The next two will be on Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Great Hall, and Oct. 13 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Stafford Campus.
There are 800 vaccines available, all in the inactive, intramuscular form, according to Heidi Simpson, associate director of the Student Health Center. Nasal spray vaccines will not be offered this year.
The shots are being offered to university students, faculty and staff.
The Office of the President is paying for the faculty and staff shots, and UMW is paying for the student shots.
There have been no increases to student fees because of the shots, according to Simpson.
Students can come to the free clinics to obtain a shot, or make an appointment after the designated hours at the Student Health Center.
Last year, approximately 500 to 600 people obtained the vaccine, according to Simpson. This year, the health center is hoping to use all 800 vaccines.
Simpson says the free shots will encourage more students to come out to get them.
According to Simpson, the health center chose to hold the vaccinations outside of Lee Hall this year, since many students walk up and down Campus Walk. Simpson hopes that holding the event outside of Lee will make the flu shot campaign more noticeable for students and staff, and easier for them to obtain.
Sophomore Fariss Hodder, who got the free vaccine from the school for the first time this year, said that she had a positive experience.
“The whole process was expedient – it took less than ten minutes, the people were friendly, and the shot was as pain-free as any shot could be,” Hodder said.
The campaign, according to Simpson, is going very well and has been successful.
Nurses from the health center, doctors and nurses from the Rappahannock Medical Reserve Corps, and nursing students from Germanna Community College were on hand to administer the shots.