Vaccine campaign unites associations

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Vaccine campaign unites associations

Matthew Zirkle gets his temperature checked by a CVS pharmacist before receiving the vaccine. Photo: Lindsay Shaleen

The Health Science Association and the University Marketing Association joined forces to promote and hold flu shot clinics across campus this past Wednesday and Thursday.

Dr. Amy Hicks, chair of the Division of Health Sciences and faculty adviser for the HSA, said the flu shot campaign was an effort to raise awareness about the need for flu vaccinations. Hicks, who has a graduate degree in public health, came up with the idea for holding the campaign on campus, which she said was to protect the health of students, the wider campus, and friends and family

Of the 1,000-student goal, 488 received shots. Although the goal was not reached despite promises of exam week being casual dress, those who were vaccinated have contributed to the health and safety of the student body. “It allows us to build a herd immunity,” Hicks said. “If enough people are vaccinated, it will prevent a large spread on campus.”

Hicks said she handed the campaign over to the HSA and the UMA to come up with ideas on how to make it successful. “Dr. Dunn and I have become consultants, and the students have done a lot of the heavy work themselves,” Hick said.

Senior Abigail Leaman hands out health forms to students.
Photo; Andrew Pledger

Dr. Adele Dunn, faculty member in the Division of Management and faculty adviser for the UMA, said she hopes students will consider getting the flu shot because of all that has happened this year with COVID-19. “It’s not just about protecting your health,” Dunn said. “It’s about protecting everyone around you.”

Dunn said working with the HSA has been exciting. Both associations have worked together to figure out the best way to communicate to students about the vaccine on campus. Dunn said students created posters and videos to promote the event.

Hicks said the HSA provided a lot of the educational component as to why it is important for students to get the flu shot. The UMA provided their expertise on how they could make the clinics enjoyable and as available as possible.

Hicks said she wanted students to know that the flu shot is very easy and pain-free. “The University Marketing Association has put a lot of work into making it fun,” Hicks said. Snacks and refreshments were available for students who received the shot, as well as various activities throughout the day.

The event was introduced in chapel with a video promoting the campaign. A link was also sent out to the student body to reserve appointments ahead of time. Through the link, students were also able to provide health insurance information before their appointment.

Two clinics were set up in different locations on campus at the same time on Wednesday and Thursday. One was held at the back of The Den and the other was on the first floor of the Alumni Building.

Both associations worked hard to provide a warm and comfortable environment for students. Hicks said getting a flu shot at the clinic took students less than 10 minutes. “It’s a pretty painless vaccination,” Hicks said. After the pharmacists gave students the shot, students were able to get hot chocolate and cookies.

Joshua Norton, junior nursing major and the secretary of the HSA, said the campaign has been something the HSA has been working on since the beginning of the semester. “We want [it] to be educational, as well as exciting,” Norton said. “There are a lot of people who don’t know about the flu shot or whether they want to get it or not,” Norton said the HSA’s job was to inform students on why getting the flu shot is important. Information booths were set up outside of the clinics to educate students about the vaccine.

Norton said one of the great things about having the flu shot on campus is that it is free to all students. “We wanted to have places on campus where students can get the shot for free,” Norton said. “We’re subsidizing for people who don’t have insurance.”

“The flu shot campaign is a way to give students easy access to a free flu shot,” Jessica Teruel, senior journalism and mass communication major and president of the UMA said. Teruel said one of the purposes of the campaign is to help students out who don’t have cars or insurance to get the vaccine.

“We want to come back to school next semester without overflowing Reveal,” Teruel said. “By getting a flu shot, you’re reducing your likelihood of getting the flu by 50%,” Teruel said the main priority is the safety of the campus.