Free Flu Vaccines Offered on Campus

By Lorena Grajales, News Editor-

The University Health Services announced that the flu vaccine is being offered to students, faculty and staff free of charge in front of the Maclellan Gymnasium until Friday Oct. 23.

Vaccinations in nasal spray form were offered for the first time this semester on Wednesday, Oct. 14 to protect students amidst the ongoing pandemic.

UTC’s Math Plaza Supervisor, Trevor Thomas shared why he advises students to get the vaccine.

“I do suggest it just ’cause of Covid going on, it’s always better to protect everyone in the community,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control said this flu vaccine will be more crucial than before, during the 2020-2021 flu season. According to the UHS’s website, the UT System was authorized by the UT Board of Trustees to require the flu vaccine, “and possibly the COVID vaccine if one is developed and recommended by the CDC and Tennessee Department of Health.”

The flu vaccine is offered to people ages 18 to 49 but is restricted to specific individuals who fall under certain categories.

This includes pregnant women,  any person with asthma, a weakened immune system, any person who cares for severely immunocompromised persons who require a safe environment, any person who has had an allergic reaction after a prior dose of influenza vaccine or has life-threatening allergies.

UTC senior, Colton Lowery said the health and safety of his friends and family motivated him to get the vaccine and described the process of taking it.

“Quick and easy…one of the staff members had a bottle of nasal spray. He put the nozzle in each nostril one at a time and sprayed as I sniffed,” he said. “…Now I am confident in my immune system to fight off the flu during season.”

A vaccine information statement, screening checklist and consent form should be reviewed and brought to the UHS before vaccination, which can be found here.

Vaccines will be available every day from the week of Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding Thursday. Staff and students must provide a valid UTC ID upon requesting the service.

In case of inclement weather during operating hours, students should go to the Vine Street entrance of Maclellan Gym. The deadline for students and staff to receive the flu vaccine this year is Monday, Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. Exemptions to vaccine requirements are available upon request.

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