EKU prepares for flu season amid COVID-19

Eastern Kentucky University School of Nursing and Student Health Services have partnered together to provide influenza vaccinations to all students, preparing to fight flu season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both influenza and COVID-19 are airborne infections that cause respiratory illness and could be medically serious if experienced together. 

“We want to emphasize how important it is to get a flu vaccine this year and we want to make sure every student gets it,” said Pat Woods, associate professor for the school of nursing.

EKU is providing several flu vaccine clinic sites in various locations across campus, to help prevent the flu this fall and winter. The flu vaccine shot is free and available for all students when showing their student ID.

“This season is so clinically important to get as many people vaccinated,” said Melanie Johnson, associate professor and undergraduate clinical coordinator for the school of nursing.

The vaccine services are available every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for the entire month of October. Flu vaccine shots occur from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., no appointments needed.

Flu vaccine clinic sites vary daily in location around campus. To check location, click here.

“We want to provide vaccines in a place that is accessible for people across campus, in a location that is convenient for them,” Johnson said.

The location and those administering flu vaccines follow the CDC vaccination pandemic guidance, such as wearing masks, gloves and social distancing.

“I think this is a great thing to offer especially for students that live far away from home and don’t know where to go locally to get a flu shot,” said Elizabeth Jones, junior communication disorders major from Hebron. “Also, it is helpful for students who don’t have a car and can’t go off campus to get a flu shot.”

EKU has made several announcements about the importance of social distancing, handwashing and wearing masks for not only preventing COVID-19 but also the flu.

“I think EKU is doing an overall really good job of creating a safe environment,” Jones said.

Due to the safety precautions already in action for COVID-19, individuals on campus should already be in the habit of prevention, sanitation, social distancing and self-isolation if feeling symptoms, when being cautious with this upcoming flu season.

“Illnesses do seem to spread pretty quickly especially in dorms but with everyone masked and being more conscious of health in general, I think it should be better than a normal flu season,” Jones said.

The senior baccalaureate nursing students are working in their public health content for their public health nursing to provide a public service announcement on how important it is to get a flu vaccine shot this year especially due to COVID-19. The students are sharing this important announcement through social media and in emails to every student at EKU. 

“This is a good way to really get our students engaged in helping protect the campus community,” Johnson said.

If you are experiencing symptoms of the flu or COVID-19, EKU advises you to seek medical advice by a personal doctor or contact the EKU Student Health Services and participate in self-isolation to prevent further spreading. To contact the EKU Student Health Services call 859-622-1761.

For more information about the flu vaccine administered at EKU and location by clinic dates visit https://healthservices.eku.edu/insidelook/flu-vaccine-0

For more information about influenza visit the CDC website here.

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