By: Olivia Krauth
With flu season quickly approaching, Campus Health Services will be providing free flu shots to all interested U of L students, faculty, and staff with the purpose of keeping campus healthy.
“When the flu circulates, the more people who are vaccinated, then the better the whole community does,” said Diane Endicott, Director of Nursing at Campus Health Services. “We want to vaccinate a percent of people so that the flu doesn’t spread throughout the university community.”
“When it comes to students, we want to keep them ready to take their tests, ready to do their assignments,” continued Endicott. “They’re here for school, that’s where we want to keep them at.”
Dr. Lynn Norris from Baptist Health Louisville recommends that all students receive the vaccination.
“You’re in with a lot of other people, so your rate of possible exposure to any kind of virus, including the flu, is significantly increased,” said Norris. “Young people living in close quarters with each other are more susceptible to catching viral illnesses. Flu would be in that group.”
While Norris highly recommends receiving a shot, she stresses that it is not a guaranteed shield against the virus, but will instead ease the effects of influenza.
“What the flu shot will help prevent is you getting a severe reaction to the flu,” said Norris. “The flu shot can also decrease the amount of time that you’re actually sick with the flu. Many studies have shown that people who get the flu shot are much less likely to end up at the hospital or to die from the flu if they do catch it.”
Aside from getting a flu shot, Norris recommends frequent hand-washing and good hygiene skills in order to avoid potentially getting sick or spreading the illness if you believe that you have it. She also recommends covering your mouth and not sharing eating utensils if you think that you might have the flu.
According to Endicott, about 5,000 shots were given away last year, and about 700 have been given away in the first few clinics at the Health Sciences Campus. She said they anticipate the first clinic on the Belknap campus will require 600 to 800 vaccinations.
The flu shots will be available on the Belknap campus from Sept. 23 until Oct. 2. A schedule of clinic times and locations can be obtained from the Campus Health Services website: Louisville.edu/campushealth
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