The Nebraska Medicine-UNO Health Center offers free flu shots for students to help them stay healthy and protected on campus during flu season.
Last season, there were roughly 40 million cases of the flu in the U.S., around 600,000 hospitalizations and as many as 61,000 deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both the CDC and Douglas County Health Department suggest getting the vaccine by the end of October.
“Everyone six months of age and older should get the flu vaccine,” Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour said. “The flu is a killer.”
Starlette Dossou, Ph.D., Nebraska Medicine clinician at the UNO Health Center said she wants to get as many students as possible in to get their flu shots, especially since they offer the shot for free.
“Our job is to take care of the students and have a healthy campus,” Dossou said. “So, in order to do that, it’s important to give people the resources that they need to remain healthy.”
Dossou also said she recommends having good hygiene as a supplement to the flu shot to ensure personal health and the health of other students.
Whether it’s washing your hands, touching fewer doorknobs or watching where you cough or sneeze, individual hygiene can be important to keeping the entire campus safe.
“You’re not only protecting yourself when you do it, but you’re also protecting other people,” Dossou said.
Students can also refer a friend to get a flu shot for a chance to win a $25 gift card. Those who make an appointment to get the shot can fill out a referral card with their name and NUID and give it to a fellow student to get their own shot. When that card is returned to the Health Center, the referrer will be entered for a chance to win the gift card.
Parental permission is required for students who are 18 and younger to receive their flu shot.
To get vaccinated, students can make an appointment at the UNO Health Center in H&K, bring a MavCARD to the appointment and complete a flu shot form.
“We do whatever we can here to make sure flu outbreaks don’t happen,” Dossou said. “This is why we offer free flu shots to students.”