Protecting UA Employees, Students from the Flu

sign offering free flu shotsThe annual University of Alabama flu shot campaign kicks off next month and continues through early November with free flu shots provided at locations across campus, including the Quad, university buildings and student residence halls.

The goal of the campaign, led by UA’s College of Community Health Sciences and now in its sixth year, is to make getting a flu shot as easy and convenient as possible. The shots are free and no insurance is required, although students and employees will need to provide their campuswide identification number, or CWID. Last year, more than 8,000 vaccinations were given.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone aged six months and older get a flu shot annually. According to the CDC, a flu vaccine is needed every year because flu viruses are constantly changing and it is not unusual for new viruses to appear. The flu vaccine is formulated each year to keep up with flu viruses as they change.

A Serious Threat

Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of CCHS and a family medicine physician, said flu, or influenza, is not just a bad cold but can present a serious threat to many people. While the risk for severe illness is highest for children, the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions, even healthy people who get sick can miss up to two weeks of work, and may experience serious complications and even require hospitalization.

“You want to take every opportunity to protect yourself, as we do know that flu shots work to lower the risk of getting influenza,” Streiffer said. “If we can vaccinate enough people in the community and especially at and around the UA campus, and in our families and social circles, we are starting to create a ‘herd immunity,’ which is a more effective way to protect yourself and those around you.”

Vaccination Campaign

The shots will be administered by nurses from University Medical Center, which CCHS operates, and the University’s Student Health Center and Capstone College of Nursing. WellBAMA is also a partner in the flu shot campaign.

Spouses of employees can receive the free flu vaccines at the campus flu shot stations or at the UA Faculty-Staff Clinic in University Medical Center, and insurance is not required. Children of employees with UA health insurance can receive flu vaccinations at University Medical Center, and children of employees with non-UA health insurance can receive flu shots at the UA Faculty-Staff Clinic if their insurance has previously approved nurse practitioner coverage.

In addition to the flu shot stations, vaccinations will be provided at University Medical Center and its Faculty-Staff Clinic.

Flu Shot Schedule

Risks associated with receiving a flu shot are extremely small, and the viruses in the flu shot are inactivated so they cannot cause the flu, according to the CDC. For more information, visit http://cchs.ua.edu/flushot.

Flu shots are scheduled at the following locations; additional dates and locations are expected to be added:

  • Thursday, Sept. 7: North Lawn Hall, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 12: Russell Hall, 7:30–11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13: Student Health Fair, Ferguson Center, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13: Quad in Motion, Quad, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 14: Tutwiler Hall, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 18: Capstone College of Nursing, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 19: Law School, 7:30–11 a.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 21: Quad, northwest corner, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 26: Procurement Services Building, 7:30–11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 27: Quad (northeast corner), 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 28: Presidential One, 9 a.m.–noon; Presidential Two, 1–4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 4: UA Employee Health Fair, Coleman Coliseum, 6:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 10: UA System Office, 7–10 a.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 12: Paty Hall, 9 a.m.–noon
  • Tuesday, Oct. 17: Reese-Phifer Hall, 7:30–11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 18: Quad (southwest corner), 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 24: Ferguson Center, 7:30–11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 1: UAPD, 7:30–10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 1: Ridgecrest South, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 7: Gorgas Library, 7:45–11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 8: Mary Burke Hall, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 9: Quad (southeast corner), 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Dates, times and locations can also be found at http://cchs.ua.edu/flushot and http://www.facebook.com/UAflushot/.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.