Athens, GA- Every fall, the UGA campus welcomes back students and anxiously anticipates the start of football season. For the University Health Center, the changing of seasons also means a return of the flu.
“The past couple of years have been focused on COVID, but we want to remind students, staff and faculty that flu season is still a threat that we need to protect ourselves against,” said Steve Rose, Marketing and Communication Manager at the University Health Center.
Each year, the CDC estimates that about 30 million people in the US will get the flu. While the generally young, healthy population of a college campus usually manages to push through flu season, Influenza is responsible for many days of absences from class and missed student activities.
In order to help combat the flu, the University Health Center partners each year with the College of Pharmacy to offer flu vaccines throughout the fall at #flUGA events. For 2022, in addition to the mobile clinics, a large, one-day #flUGA event has been scheduled for October 5th at Ramsey Student Center from 9:00am-3:00pm. This coincides with #BeWellUGA Week, an entire week focused on campus-wide wellness. The October 5th #flUGA event is open to students, faculty/staff, and no appointments are necessary. There will be no out-of-pocket cost for students.
In order to help promote the vaccine, UHC has signed on to participate in a nationwide College Competition sponsored by Alana’s Foundation (https://www.alanasfoundation.org/). UGA is one of several colleges across the nation competing to see which college can get the most people vaccinated against the flu.
“The UHC and College of Pharmacy have partnered over the years to offer the flu shot at #flUGA events, but this is our first year competing in the college challenge. We’d love to bring home the trophy in our first year!” said Jen Swails, Director of Finance and Support Services. The October 5th #flUGA event hopes to vaccinate over 4,000 people in just a few hours.
An additional benefit of the event is that it will serve as a campus drill for a large mass-vaccine distribution. “We are required by the Joint Commission to hold semi-annual large-scale drills in order to maintain our accreditation,” said Swails. “The #flUGA event provides the opportunity to test, in real-time, our ability to provide mass vaccinations in a short period.” In addition to the UHC and Ramsey Center, the Office of Emergency Preparedness, the UGA police department, and the Augusta College of Nursing will participate.
#flUGA began in 2017, and continues to grow each year with “pop-up” clinics around campus and in the community. For the October 5th event, the first 300 students to get vaccinated will receive a t-shirt. Please bring your UGA ID and insurance information. For anyone 65 and older, the CDC recommends a higher dose vaccine that will be available.
For more information visit healthcenter.uga.edu/influenza
Written by: Steven Rose, UHC Marketing and Communications