Record numbers turn out for flu shot clinics

Branden Peterson

More University employees and students rolled up their sleeves to receive flu shots this season than in recent years, according to a flu clinic coordinator at Boynton Health Service. Boynton’s annual flu clinics program wrapped up Friday.

Yearly recommendations by health officials for people to get flu shots made for a large turnout at this year’s clinics, said David Golden, community programs specialist for Boynton Health Service and flu clinic coordinator.

Golden said the University was prepared to administer approximately 6,000 shots this year at locations spread between Boynton and more than one dozen flu shot events on campus. Demand has been high, and he now estimates more than 7,000 University employees and students have received immunizations so far.

Unlike recent years, a larger supply of flu vaccinations is available – a fact that encouraged the health service to offer more opportunities for the public to receive immunizations.

“This is really the biggest year by far. This is huge,” Golden said.

He also said public health will benefit from the increase in vaccinations.

“What’s so good about all these people getting immunized is that it helps even those who didn’t get immunized,” he said.

Convenience enticed Leslie Czechowski, an Elmer Anderson library archivist, to get her flu shot. She said she wouldn’t likely receive one if not for the flu clinics.

“I think it’s a wonderful type of service,” she said. “It develops a real sense of community.”

As Kristen Sellner approached a flu clinic last Friday, she met a line 30 people deep. But the sophomore marketing student said she was surprised by how fast the line moved.

“At my clinic you have to make an appointment and it messes with your whole day,” Sellner said. “Here you can just come during the times.”

A majority of those administering flu shots at the clinics were University pharmacy and nursing students enrolled in an immunization course.

As part of the curriculum the flu clinics gave students hands-on training, which they said they enjoyed.

Third-year pharmacy student Amy Paver worked at several of the flu clinics around campus and said she enjoyed talking to patients during the events. Paver said the flu clinics offered a valuable opportunity for the students to learn outside of the classroom.

“It’s given me a lot of face-to-face experience with patients that we don’t get much of,” Paver said.

Individuals desiring flu shots can still receive immunizations from Boynton Health Service.

Branden Peterson covers the St. Paul campus and welcomes comments at [email protected]