On the campus of Florida A&M University the College of Pharmacy, College of Nursing, and Student Health Services have joined forces to host a campus-wide influenza immunization initiative.
The event kicked off on Oct. 1 and ends today. The last day for Operation Immunization will be held at the News Commons from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The shots are free to FAMU students.
The purpose of this event is to increase the number of individuals who choose to be immunized and educate in hopes to elevate the awareness on vaccine preventable illnesses.
The Student Health Services ordered a total of 1,000 shots last March.
According to Tanya Tatum, director of Health Services, the number of vaccines given thus far, has already surpassed the last two years combined with a total of 371 flu shots.
“Students really need to get the shot because it’s really hard to function with the symptoms of the flu and students don’t need to miss their classes,” Tatum said.
Nursing students are administering the flu vaccine and pharmacy students provide educational and counseling services to students under the supervision of a College of Pharmacy faculty member.
“The staff was very nice and welcoming. Before getting the shot they informed me about the risks of the vaccine,” said Lynze Booker, 18, a first-year nursing student from Tampa.
A vaccine, like any medicine, can cause allergic reactions. The risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
While gaining clinical experience for a community health class Aneshia Barr, 22, a fourth-year nursing student, monitored students for any allergic reactions after receiving the flu shot.
“Everything has gone really well. Its great that students are being proactive about their health,” Barr said.
Some mild allergic reactions include muscle aches, fever, itchiness and cough. If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1-2 days.
“I never got the flu shot before, it’s free so I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity,” said Jordan Charles, 17, a first-year biology student from Orlando. “I get sick easily so I really needed the shot, I wouldn’t want to catch the virus and spread it to some one else on campus,” Charles said.
There will be several other events planned to make the community aware of all that is going on to increase Public Health and decrease the number of untimely deaths from incidences that can be prevented.
“With the recent death of our very own FAMU student, Courtney Simms, from pneumococcal meningitis [a vaccine preventable disease], we find this to be a very important time to speak out through our leadership and events we have planned around the FAMU’s campus, Tallahassee, and neighboring cities,” said Aisha Wilder, the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences public relations chair for Operation Immunization.