Record number of students participate in vaccine clinic

A total of 240 University of Kansas students, faculty and staff took part in Watkins Health Center’s flu vaccine clinic at the Burge Union on Wednesday Oct. 8, 2014. The participation was high in comparison to last year’s 103 participants.

“There was a really good turnout,” volunteer nurse Chryl Hind said. “We had the most students and faculty come out than any other time in recent years.”

The vaccine was offered at a student rate of $30 for the shot form and $40 for the nasal mist form.

Clinic chair Patty Quinlan said the Watkins Health Center’s student-rate costs $10 less than other places that administer the vaccine, such as Walgreens.

“We’re not in competition with the Walgreen type businesses, therefore the vaccine does cost less,” Quinlan said. “It’s also set up in a way that is more convenient to students because it’s held in buildings on campus.”

With the flu season on its way, Quinlan stated the importance of getting vaccinated.

“We highly recommend the vaccine,” Quinlan said. “The last couple of flu seasons have been mild; therefore, people become complacent. The numbers of those in their teens and 20s who contracted the flu have soared. It helps to prevent students from possibly missing three to seven days of classes if they become infected.”

Watkins Memorial Health Center vaccinated 240 individuals on Oct. 8, 2014. Andy Hyland/LJ World
Watkins Memorial Health Center vaccinated 240 individuals on Oct. 8, 2014. Andy Hyland/LJ World

It was for that reason that one student participated in the clinic.

“I really can’t be sick right now,” sophomore Frankie Baker said. “This clinic comes at an important time for students with finals taking place in the next two months.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu vaccination should begin once vaccines become available in October. However, as long as the virus persists in the general population, vaccinations should continue until January or later.

Those who cannot attend a scheduled clinic can set up appointments to receive flu vaccine at Watkins by calling 785-864-9507 or visit the Watkins Health Center for walk-in appointments from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon – 3 p.m. on Saturday.

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