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Friday, June 14, 2024

UF Student Health Care Center to start distributing free flu shots this morning

The UF Student Health Care Center will host its third annual Free Flu Shots outreach event today.

The event will take place on the front lawn of the SHCC building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Students will need to bring their Gator 1 Card to get vaccinated.

The first 1,000 vaccinated students will receive free “SHOTS” tank tops and other giveaways.

The SHCC plans to vaccinate as many students as possible before Thanksgiving break. Today, the center hopes to distribute about 1,500 vaccinations.

Catherine A. Seemann, communications coordinator for the SHCC, said after the event, students can still walk in and get vaccinated.

“It draws more attention to flu shot vaccinations, rather than just making an announcement that you can walk in at any time,” Seemann said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone six months and older get the flu vaccine annually.

UF sport management senior T.J. Endebrock, 21, said his mother and doctor remind him to get a flu shot every year.

“The one year I didn’t get a shot, I got sick,” Endebrock said. “I just want to stay as healthy as possible each year and prevent any illness I can.”

Anthony Dennis, environmental health director for the Alachua County Health Department, said that the Fall season is when typically starts spreading.

“This is the time of year where we start to see an increase in flu illnesses,” Dennis said. “Therefore, we encourage everyone to get the shot because it’s been proven to prevent and minimize the illness.”

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The Alachua County Health Department will partner with the Alachua Medical Reserve Corps and the SHCC to distribute the FluMist vaccine on campus this month.

The vaccine, which is sprayed through the nose, will be available at the GatorWell main office on Oct. 14, 16, 28 and 30.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu, as well as the H1N1 virus that emerged and became a pandemic in 2009.

“You can be contagious for seven days,” Seemann said. “A couple of the days you may not even have symptoms. The flu shot not only protects you. It protects those around you.”

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