Flu shots cheap and convenient at DeWeese

Ryan Haidet

Sophomore nursing major Tonya Beaumont gives Erin Mulcahey, sophomore deaf education major, a flu shot yesterday afternoon at the DeWeese Health Center. Mulcahey gets her flu shot every year and hasn’t been affected by the flu. The health center will be

Credit: Steve Schirra

The DeWeese Health Center will hold a flu shot clinic today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the lower level of the building. No appointment is necessary and everyone is welcome to get a flu shot.

Mary Reeves, director of university health services, recommends all students, faculty and staff at the university get the vaccination, especially students who live on campus.

“We all work in a close environment,” Reeves said. “The more people that get immunized, the less chance there is of a flu epidemic on campus.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web site, the best way to be protected from the flu is by getting the shot.

This clinic wasn’t available last year because of the shortage of vaccinations. Reeves said she has seen an increase in people who didn’t get the shot last year in line to get one this year.

“We assumed more people would want it because of the shortage last year and because of the fear of the avian flu,” Reeves said. “This vaccination won’t protect you from the avian flu, but it will help you stay healthy.”

Shelly Verba, an assistant nurse manager at the health center, said this clinic should only take 10 minutes.

Although flu shots are being given, Verba said that the flu hasn’t started yet but it will be seen soon.

“When the students come back from Christmas break is generally when we see the flu in our area,” Verba said.

Verba encourages those who are afraid of needles to get over their fear.

“Usually the fear of getting the shot is worse than the shot itself,” Verba said. “Many people are surprised when it’s over. It’s a real relaxed atmosphere and the shots are given by peers (nursing students). If you want to get a flu shot, this is a good way to do it.”

Nursing students administering the flu shots have their own reasons why people should get a flu shot at the health center.

“It’s very affordable,” said Chris Straszheim, senior nursing and psychology major. “The line moves so fast and you don’t have to wait in the main office with sick people.”

Straszheim said that it’s easy to get the shot there because students are already on campus.

“You can get the shot between classes and save on gas because you won’t have to drive far,” Straszheim said.

Sophomore nursing major Jennifer Carson agreed that it’s affordable, but said this clinic also benefits students in the nursing program.

“This clinic gives nursing students experience,” Carson said.

Although she has a fear of needles, Carson said she is going to get her shot anyway.

“I’m going to focus my attention on something else,” Carson said. “Just take your mind to a better place. I always make it worse than it really is because it doesn’t hurt at all.”

For those who can’t make it out to get the shot today there is an alternative.

“If people aren’t able to come to this clinic, they can make an appointment with the immunization center any time to get one,” Verba said.

Verba asks that everybody dresses appropriately to get a shot by wearing sleeves that can easily be rolled up.

For more information about the flu, visit the CDC Web site at www.cdc.gov/flu.

Contact health reporter Ryan Haidet at [email protected].