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Hundreds of students lined up Friday morning along Fletcher Drive not for free goodies, but free flu shots. 

More than 880 students received the flu vaccine and a free T-shirt at the Chomp the Flu kickstart event outside the Infirmary, said Cecilia Luna, the UF Student Health Care Center marketing and communications coordinator. Thanks to a partnership with the Avnee Foundation, the center also offered the meningitis B vaccine for the first time, administering it to 433 students during the event. Efforts to control the flu will continue throughout the flu season with mobile vaccination stations. 

In the 2017-2018 school year, more than 250 patients with the flu or flu-like symptoms came into the Infirmary in January and February alone, something the department wants to avoid, Luna said.

“We want to encourage students to get the shot early because anyone who receives the vaccine and still gets the flu will have less severe symptoms,” Luna said.

Currently, UF doesn’t require students to get the meningitis B vaccine, but the Infirmary is working to change that.

Last year there was one case of meningitis at UF, Luna said.

Michelle Do, a UF microbiology and cell sciences senior, said she stood in line for about an hour and a half to receive both the flu and meningitis B vaccines.

“I like being able to be vaccinated quickly and conveniently on campus,” Do said. “I think it (is) great that they continue to do them.”