Flu shots being given

SHSU Student Health Center presents Flu Shot Tour

Maci McShan, The Houstonian, October 25, 2022

This week, nurses from the SHSU Student Health Center moved to the Frank Parker Plaza to administer free flu vaccinations to students and faculty. From 9 am-2 pm, students lined up to get their flu shot.

            This offer to students looks a little different this year. Now located in the middle of campus, students have the opportunity to stop and get a flu shot as they walk to class. There has also been a transition to a new electronic medical record, allowing students to have immediate updates to their patient portal. In past years, the nursing college or the osteopathic medicine students would administer the vaccines as a collaboration with the Student Health Center. However, in order to protect patient privacy with these new e-portals, only Student Health Center staff will administer vaccines this year.

            The flu is easily spread by being in close contact with anyone with untreated symptoms. These make classrooms hubs for the virus. The Student Health Center is committed to offering the best chance for a healthy life.

            “Healthy students means better class attendance and more campus involvement,” said Erica Bumpurs, Director of the Student Health Center.

            Many Americans have several misconceptions about the flu vaccine, and Bumpurs was eager to set the record straight on the benefits of the shot.

“The flu shot is the best protection to prevent contracting the flu,” said Bumpurs. “It also reduces the spread to more vulnerable populations, like the elderly or children.”

Similar to COVID-19, the rise in cases decreased substantially with shelter-in-place orders, mask mandates, and readily available vaccinations. In order to maintain this drop in cases, the Student Health Center preordered 2,500 doses of the flu shot, at about 24 dollars per dose. Comparatively, 2,000 doses were ordered in the 2018-2019 school year. A significant decrease in orders was reported for the 2020-2021 school year, due to the global pandemic taking students away from campus. With all of the lessons learned from that time spent quarantined, the school anticipated a rise in the demand for flu shots.

For students, it is important to remember that the Student Health Center is ran by student fees automatically paid for by your tuition. These resources are curated to make the students’ time at SHSU a safe, healthy environment to thrive in. It is up to the student to utilize these resources as offered by the university.

The Flu Shot Tour will make its way through six academic buildings on the SHSU campus throughout the month of November. The vaccine offered is quadrivalent, meaning it protects against the four largest strains of the flu. The flu shot reduces the risk of getting the flu by 40-60%, according to the CDC. It is a common misconception that the flu vaccination contains the live virus. This is not true, as confirmed by Bumpurs.

“We’re giving the vaccine that has the most coverage,” said Bumpurs. “Helping people understand the science behind the vaccine is important.” 

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