A 3D generated influenza virus. (Photo courtesy of CDC/ Dan Higgins)

Stanislaus State students were treated to free flu shots at main dining on Tuesday. The flu shots were provided by Stan State’s Health Center and School of Nursing. This is the third consecutive year that this joint project has taken place at Stan State.

Influenza, better known as the flu, is a respiratory virus that claims the lives of thousands of people each year. The flu season  (the time of year where the flu virus is the strongest) tends to start in October and can last until May. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) annual flu season recap, last year’s flu season was the longest in 10 years. By the end of the season, there were 42.9 million people who caught the flu to some extent. Out of that number, 647,000 people were hospitalized and 61,200 people died. These numbers were very concerning to those at the event.

Julian De La Cueva Perez (freshman, Computer Science) realizes how dangerous influenza can be. After seeing his father contract an illness, he felt compelled to do something. “I don’t remember the last time I got my flu shot, so I just came just to get one and try to be a little safer.”

Students enrolled in Stan State’s School of Nursing were at the event, performing the vaccine injections for students. This is something that Dr. Marla Seacrist, pre-licensure program director for the school of nursing, is very excited about. “Doing it this way not only allows students on campus to get their vaccines, but it also allows the student nurses to learn how to interact with the public and learn how to give injections. It’s a win-win situation.”

Of course, flu shots weren’t given to just anybody. Necessary questions and assessments took place to make sure students were healthy enough or even eligible to get their vaccine. This was another process that nursing students were able to gain experience from while working at the event. 

Students who attended the event were also treated to complimentary refreshments. This was another win-win situation for those who want to stay healthy and who also have a love for coffee, lemonade, and cookies.

Arnulfo Barajas (senior, Business Administration) was one of the students who took advantage of both the snacks and the shot. He explained how a family member who fell ill persuaded him to attend the event. Barajas also loved how convenient it is for students to get their flu shots on campus. “First of all, it’s free. I know of other places that charge, so that was a big help. I also have a very busy schedule, so with the event being held here (main dining), I don’t have to go out of my way to get the shot.”

For those who were unable to attend Tuesday’s event, flu shots are still available at the Health Center on a walk-in basis during specific times. For eligible students, the shot remains free of charge. However, there is a 20 dollar fee for faculty and staff.

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