Health Services offers flu shot to Laurier community

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The flu shot is being offered on the Waterloo campus to the Wilfrid Laurier University community through Health Services, which has set five clinic dates throughout November. The clinics are located in the Student Health and Development Centre and are open to students, faculty and staff.

The shot is free with a government health card.

Marilyn Nieboer, the health educator who coordinates the clinics, believes that the clinics have been successful so far.

“I think we did about 110 or so the first clinic and about 135 the second.”

However, she would still like to see a higher attendance for the upcoming dates.

“We are offering them and we know the flu is a virus and we can actually help stop the spread of it with the more people we immunize.”

Nieboer, explained that, while the clinic is open to the Laurier student community, there is also a focus on providing services for the staff and faculty.

“They can’t use health services, so it gives them the opportunity to get the flu shot at work.”

“Students actually have the flexibility to go to health services at any time and get it. They don’t need an appointment, they can just go in and ask for the information nurse,” she continued

Nieboer explained that the flu clinic occurs at this time of year because this is when the government distributes the vaccines.

“This is when the vaccine is available, and this is when the flu season starts,” she said.

Nieboer also explained why getting the flu shot is important.

“Anybody can get the flu and when you get it, you’re pretty sick.”

She emphasized that getting the shot would be especially beneficial to students.

“You don’t have time to be staying in bed for three to five days or more, and some people get complications from the flu,” she said.

“Depending on the type of season that we have, 2,000 to 8,000 Canadians die each year from flu-related illnesses. Some people are at more risk of developing complications from the flu. So when we protect ourselves we also help protect them,” she continued.

She also highlighted common misconceptions surrounding the vaccine itself.

“People wonder if the flu vaccine is safe and they should be reminded that it is safe and that it has been around for decades.”

In addition, she explained that the vaccine does not contain live viruses, meaning that those who get vaccinated cannot get the flu from the shot.

Rebecca Channer, a fourth-year religion in culture student believes that “the convenience is good” to have the clinic on campus

Nicole Green, a fourth-year kinesiology student agrees with Channer.

“There is a push. People are expected to get vaccinated now, so to have it easily accessible is better for the busy student life. For students who want to do it, it’s good.”

The last three clinics are scheduled for Nov. 13, 14 and 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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