Free flu vaccines available to FIU community

Fernando Marca/Contributing Writer

Free flu shots will be administered at both the University’s Health Faculty Group Practice as well as the University’s Student Health Center, with the latter administering flu shots courtesy of the health fee included in the University’s tuition.

The flu vaccine was first administered on campus during fall, near the end of September right before the start of the flu season in October.

Graphic by Michelle Marchante/PantherNOW

After two years of mild flu seasons, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled this year’s flu season as “moderately severe.” Florida is not immune to the dangers of the flu, with already two flu-related pediatric deaths having been recorded by the Florida Department of Health. In both of these cases, the victims had not been administered the flu vaccine, a vaccine the CDC considers critical in order to stay safe from the flu.

Some students expressed concerns that the University had stopped administering vaccines and only recently started again, but according to Dr. Eneida Roldan, the CEO of FIU Health, these were nothing more than rumors.

“Flu vaccines are administered on request here at FIU. The increased number of vaccines being requested resulted in a brief pause of administering the vaccine while we ordered more,” Roldan said.

The flu vaccines, according to Roldan, will be available for the rest of the semester at the Student Health Center, which is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. The vaccine, she said, is available to all FIU students, staff, and faculty and those interested in getting the vaccine can either make an appointment or do a walk-in depending on how busy SHS is.

Common ways of preventing the flu, according to the CDC website, include washing hands frequently, avoiding contact with sick people, staying active, and getting vaccinated. Freshman finance major Zach Greenberg received the vaccine here at the University, but still keeps up good habits to stay safe from the flu.

“I try to stay pretty active to avoid getting sick. Going to the gym helps me feel healthy all semester long,” he said.

Other students, like Liam Wissinger, a freshman majoring in international business, was unaware that the vaccine was even offered at the University but still takes extra precautions to stay safe.

“I take daily multivitamins, drink plenty of fluids, and make sure I get lots of rest to stay healthy,” said Wissinger.

Whether or not you decide to get vaccinated, remember to keep an eye out for flu symptoms. These symptoms are often confused with similar symptoms of the common cold, but they can be differentiated with some key aspects, according to the CDC website. Your body will be more tired when fighting off the flu, as the infection lingers longer than your average 2 to 4 day cold. The flu also produces a fever, which should be treated immediately. If you believe you have the flu, seek the appropriate medical attention to prevent complications.


Feature Image retrieved from WFIU/Flickr.

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