University Health Services Makes It Easier for Students and Faculty to Get Flu Shots
By Cassidy Ellison
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN Texas — As demand continues for flu shots, University Health Services responded by extending clinics more formally to faculty and staff until Thanksgiving.
University Health Services (UHS) announced plans to give flu shots until Thanksgiving break due to continued demand and a rise in flu cases the past two weeks. UHS’s annual flu shot campaign started September 28 and was scheduled to run until October 21. UHS added clinics twice a week from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. for students, faculty and staff to get flu shots until Thanksgiving break.
“We did that because we anticipated an uptick in the flu and we’ve seen it this week and the week before last,” said Sherry Bell, a member of the UHS public information team.
“We always extend it to students but this year we’ve been able to open it up more formally and include faculty and staff.”
More than 1,500 students, faculty and staff took advantage of the extended UHS clinics.
UT senior Julia Snider said she usually gets her flu shot before Halloween. She had a busier month than she expected and got vaccinated the second week of November.
“I think time just got away from me and next thing I knew it was November, and I hadn’t gotten it yet,” Snider said.
She said she appreciated the extended time to get the shot before going home and seeing extended family over Thanksgiving and winter break.
Since September, UHS reported 28 confirmed flu cases and 91 flu-like illnesses. Normally there are more than 350 flu cases on campus every year.
“The peak of the flu season is December through February… that’s when we see the most cases, so it is not too late for students to receive a flu shot,” Bell said.
Senior Claudia Edgeworth tested positive for Influenza A less than two weeks after receiving her flu shot from UHS.
“I honestly was shocked I had the flu just because I had my flu shot. At that point I hadn’t really heard of many people having the flu,” Edgeworth said.
Edgeworth said her symptoms were mild. She experienced body aches and a low grade fever the days leading up to testing positive.
“The next day [after testing positive] my other friend had tested positive for Flu-B, so we had gotten it from different places and different people,” Edgeworth said.
UHS encourages students and faculty who have not received their flu shot to make an appointment now. For those without insurance or insurance not accepted by UHS, the flu shot costs $10.
“It was super quick and easy. Within 5 minutes, I walked in the door, got my shot and was back to my car,” Edgeworth said.
Next week is the last to schedule flu shots at UHS. They encourage students to go now, so they can have healthy Thanksgiving and winter breaks.