Gannon offers free flu shots

Gannon University nursing students will be giving it their best shot at the flu campaign Oct. 6.
The event offers free flu shots with approved insurance information to Gannon students, faculty and staff as part of a collaboration between the Villa Maria School of Nursing, the Gannon Health Center and Lifeworks Erie. Students in Gannon’s nursing 414 community class will run the clinic and administer flu shots from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Yehl Ball Room.
Those interested must bring an insurance card and know the birthdate of the policy holder to receive the vaccination, which will be administered until 4:45 p.m. Gift cards will also be raffled off as door prizes for those participating.
Caryn Duman, a senior nursing major, said she believes it’s better for college campuses to offer flu shots on site.
“If you miss class because you’re sick, that’s $300 or however much per class,” Duman said. “You’re saving money in the end.”
Costs aren’t the only reason students should get vaccinated each fall. Students who are able to get vaccinated protect people who cannot receive flu shots because of allergies or compromised immune systems.
“Dorms have a lot of germs which spread quickly,” Duman said. “And you’re in close contact 24/7 on college campuses.
“It’s a good thing to do.”
The clinic is also a learning opportunity for students to understand the importance of vaccination, Duman said. Typically, nursing students vaccinate up to 900 people, and are expecting about 800 this year.
This is the first year Duman is helping with the program, but she said she hopes other students will feel rewarded to help with the event.
“We’re using what we’re learning and helping our college be a healthier place,” Duman said.
Lisa Quinn, Ph.D., an associate professor of nursing at Gannon, said part of health care is prevention.
“And this event is considered primary prevention,” Quinn said.
The Community Health Community Clinical course administering the flu shots studies health in populations, so Gannon classifies as an aggregate, Quinn said.
“The focus is not necessarily taking care of individuals as they do in the hospital setting, but the focus is on populations or aggregates,” Quinn said. “The Gannon University community would be a specific population or aggregate.”
Holly Dill, a senior biology and freshwater marine biology major, said she will not be getting a flu shot.
“I do not believe flu shots are necessary for the general public unless you are old, a small child or already have a compromised immune system,” Dill said.
“It’s a stab in the dark as to what overpaid scientists, the government and academia think the strain might be that year, and there’s no point in introducing pathogens to protect yourself.”

KELSEY GHERING
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