Flu Vaccination Clinic offered to reduce risks of infection

Jasper Dewitt II, Staff Writer

As the peak of flu season approaches, FMU Student Health Services fights to keep the virus off campus.

With the drama of the H1N1 virus in the past, Cecilia Smith, Coordinator of the FMU Student Health Services pushes students to take precautions to prevent catching the flu.

“One thing that disturbs me on campus is that students are sluggish when it comes to preventing the flu,” Smith said. “Let’s get proactive.”

Just like last year, the Student Health Services sponsored a Flu Vaccination Clinic Nov. 17 in the Heyward Community Center. However, this year there were not as many students in line to get their H1N1 mist.

Students who came to the clinic had the opportunity to get their seasonal flu shot without scheduling an appointment. The cost to get a vaccination was $15, which is more affordable than a regular flu vaccination cost of $25 or more. Since many students missed the clinic, Smith shared that the students can still get a vaccination at any time during the semester.

“Just because a student did not come to the clinic, does not mean that it is too late to get a flu shot,” Smith said. “It is not too late; vaccines are still available.”

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), college campuses are one of the five common places where cases of the flu are high in the United States. The flu is most often contracted after contact with contaminated communal surfaces, such as door handles, computer keyboards and phones. According to the CDC, every 60 seconds a working adult touches at least 30 objects.

Smith gave some significant tips for students in fighting the flu. Since the flu commonly spreads by sneeze and cough droplets, she encouraged students to frequently wash their hands and carry hand sanitizer. She also emphasized the point that sick students should not risk infecting others through unnecessary interactions with others.

A few Residential Assistants (RAs) and some staff members from the Housing Office helped the Student Health Center set up for the Flu Vaccination Clinic. The RAs who were present at the clinic worked with smiles on their faces as they gave their fellow peers advice on flu prevention. Although several of the RAs said that they were more than enthused to help with the clinic, they wished there were more students at the clinic.

“I wish more students would have come to get their flu shot,” RA Shyrle Benjamin said. “It’s a shame because there are a lot of people that I see walking around on campus who are coughing and sneezing.”

Students who are interested in getting a vaccination should contact Cecilia Smith at (843)-661-1840 or visit the Education Foundation Building on E. Palmetto St.