For three consecutive years, UNC has led nationally in the percentage of students vaccinated against the flu through the Alana’s Foundation National College/University Flu Vaccination Challenge. And this year Campus Health hopes to maintain that.
“Being vaccinated against influenza will help reduce the overall burden of respiratory diseases and help conserve health care resources,” UNC's Department of Environment, Health and Safety said in a formal notice.
A co-infection of both COVID-19 and influenza is possible. Both carry high risk of respiratory illness, Campus Health Director of Nursing and Performance Improvement Michelle Camarena said.
As a result of these increased COVID-19 risks, Amy Sauls,Campus Health director of Pharmacy and Professional Services, anticipates increased community motivation to get flu vaccines.
“I was just vaccinating some students a little while ago and I was hearing from them that they especially want to get vaccinated this year because of COVID — because people don’t want to deal with COVID and flu,” Sauls said.
Camarena said UNC’s highly educated population — with many health care facilities and health science students and professionals — prompts increased awareness of the benefits of flu vaccines.
Claire Brennan, a first-year student majoring in political science, said she was more inclined to receive a flu shot due to the pandemic.
“With the increase in cases of COVID-19 and the delta variant on campus, it’s become especially important to me to get the flu vaccine, to protect myself from another largely preventable illness,” Brennan said.
Brennan received her flu vaccine at the Student Stores Pharmacy, one of the Campus Health clinics on campus.
“The convenience and ease of Campus Health makes prioritizing getting vaccinated manageable with my chaotic schedule,” Brennan said.
Since the pandemic began, Campus Health has used more volunteers to help in vaccine clinics due to increased vaccine demand.
“I think any public health person would tell you, you kind of have to reach people where they are," Camarena said. "So, the more we can reach people and give them options, the better."
Below is a list of Campus Health flu vaccine clinics:
- The Student Stores Pharmacy offers flu shots for students, faculty and staff without appointment. Flu shots are available during operating hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) on the 3rd floor of the Student Stores building.
- The Campus Health Pharmacy is located in the basement of Campus Health, the pharmacy offers walk-in flu shots for students, faculty and staff, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- The University Employee Occupational Health Clinic offers flu vaccinations only for UNC health care personnel (including the School of Medicine) and other personnel who are part of the immmunization review program. Flu vaccinations are available during walk-in hours, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.
- Campus walk-in clinics: Several walk-up flu vaccination clinics will be offered at various locations across campus, with no advance registration required. All times for the clinics listed below are from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Thursday, Sept. 30 – Genetic Medicine Building, Lobby
- Thursday, Oct. 7 – Giles Horney Building, Magnolia Room
- Friday, Oct. 15 – McColl Building, Graduate Student Lounge
- Friday, Oct. 22 – Koury Oral Health Sciences Building, Atrium Lobby
- Thursday, Oct. 28 – Medical Biomolecular Research Building, Main Lobby
- Friday, Oct. 29 – Michael Hooker Research Center, Lower Level Atrium
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