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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Health center offers vaccines for students, staff to prevent flu

It lurks inside of your damp laundry, it watches you from the mucus membranes of your friend's nose, and it hides quietly on the door handle to your apartment.

It's back. It's the flu.

Luckily there's hope. The Student Health Care Center is kicking off its influenza campaign today by offering vaccinations to UF students, staff and faculty from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The cost for the flu shot is ,5 for students and ,25 for employees.

"A ,5 flu shot is a great deal, and the fact that it's right on campus is so convenient," said Wendy Alexaitis, a UF journalism junior.

Alexaitis has received a flu shot every year from the Student Health Care Center since attending college.

"In high school, I had the flu," she said. "I was glued to my bed for an entire week, and I barely had enough energy to move. Plus, I was knee-deep in homework."

She said the worst part about the flu is "the languid feeling you have where you can't do anything" and spending the whole time watching bad television.

The health care center's Web site states that the people at the highest risk of catching the flu include those with chronic illness, such as asthma, diabetes and hypertension, people age 50 and older and health-care workers and students with direct patient contact.

Alexaitis believes that she caught the flu from another student.

Randi Smith, a graduate teaching assistant at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is aware of the risk of catching the flu on campus.

"The environment we work in is conducive to transferring colds and the flu easily," she said. "When I get sick, my doctor frequently blames germs from my students' papers."

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Additionally, she said that the attendance in her class drops as the flu spreads throughout the classroom.

Grades go down when students are sick because they sleep instead of finishing assignments or attending class, then missing important information, Smith said.

She said she would encourage her students to get the vaccination in order to avoid the headache of having to catch up with their homework.

"In the long run, preventive medicine like the flu shot will enable students to attend class regularly and get a lot out of it - as well as avoiding feeling sick if they catch the flu," she said.

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