MTSU students will have seven opportunities in the next four weeks to obtain free flu shots in a partnership between colleges within the university and Student Health Services.
Student Health Services has always offered flu shots to MTSU students but charged $20 each to cover the cost of the vaccine. This summer, the Tennessee Department of Health told MTSU about the opportunity to request free flu vaccine directly from the state to offer to students when it became available.
While Health Services and the Office of Health Promotion officials considered the best strategy to reach the most students, Health Services Director Rick Chapman came up with the idea of partnering with the Jones College of Business, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, the College of Education and the College of Media and Entertainment and the James E. Walker Library.
The university will host these upcoming flu shot events:
• Tuesday, Oct. 13 — 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Todd Art Gallery.
• Wednesday, Oct. 14 — 12:30 to 5 p.m. in the lobby of the new Academic Classroom Building.
• Wednesday, Oct. 21 — 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in College of Education Building, Room 160.
• Thursday, Oct. 22 — 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first floor of Walker Library.
• Tuesday, Oct. 27 — 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building lobby.
• Wednesday, Oct. 28 — 12:30 to 5 p.m. in the Academic Classroom Building lobby.
The events kicked off Oct. 7 in the Business and Aerospace Building.
“The intersection of COVID19 and seasonal flu this winter puts a potential strain on our health care system to meet the needs of sick people in our local community,” said Lisa Schrader, Health Promotion director.
“Public health experts are encouraging all adults to get a flu vaccine as a way to further reduce the chances of our hospitals being overrun with sick patients.
“Much like wearing a mask, getting a flu vaccine is another way for each of us to protect not only ourselves but also the broader community,” Schrader continued, adding that she was “thrilled when seven colleges offered space to us” to administer the vaccines to students.
With Health Services clinical staff stretched thin managing COVID cases, the School of Nursing stepped up to help. Faculty members Barbara Lancaster and Joyce Finch enlisted the aid of some upper-division students, who will administer the shots.
“The experience thus far is a great example of how academic departments and auxiliary units can work together to provide services to students,” Schrader said.
The state also is making the FluMist nasal spray available as part of the free vaccine program, so even students who might be needle-phobic have a chance to get vaccinated, Schrader added.
To find building locations, visit https://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking2020.
For more information, call 615-494-8704.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)