Editorial: Flu shots critical service for students

UConn holds free flu vaccinations for students in the Student Union Ballroom. The more students receive the vaccine, the fewer students will contract the virus. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut’s Student Health Services offered free flu vaccinations last Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Student Union. This is a very beneficial service and hundreds of students took the opportunity to immunize themselves against the flu. The vaccine administered was stronger than ones offered at most other clinics, as it immunized against four different flu strains instead of three. Even if students had the opportunity to receive vaccinations from hometown physicians, the one offered on campus was more effective.

It is crucial that as many students as possible get vaccinated, and earlier rather than later. Flu season lasts until May, peaking in February, so vaccinating now can help students avoid suffering during the higher risk months. If more students vaccinate, this will be beneficial because it will be less likely that a flu outbreak will occur on campus. Even those who are not vaccinated will benefit, as they will be less likely to catch the flu if few of the people they interact with can catch it themselves.

Because it is so important that students receive flu vaccinations, Student Health Services will continue offering them for free at its permanent location at 234 Glenbrook Road Apartments. Students should make every effort to take advantage of this opportunity. Coming down with the flu not only includes suffering its symptoms, but also results in missed class time. As many people on campus have busy schedules, this can be difficult to make up and can even set students back for an entire semester.

The university, and especially Student Health Services, should be commended for setting up and maintaining a program that helps to guarantee the health of students. SHS, which also partnered with volunteers from the Student National Pharmaceutical Association and American Pharmacist Association, was very effective in advertising for the event as well. In addition, the vaccinations were offered for two days a week for two consecutive weeks, giving students plenty of opportunity to attend.

Students should continue to monitor opportunities such as this. SHS offers various services for students, and it is imperative the students utilize them to their advantage. Whether it pertains to mental health, illness prevention or even sexual health, students can get the help they need at SHS.