Health center combats flu season, looks to increase fall wellness

Sept. 22, 2014

Nick Beadleston
[email protected]

Students looking to battle the seasonal bug now have another weapon in their arsenal.

The Student Health Center is offering walk-in, $20 flu shots, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m during the fall semester.

Stephanie Hanenberg, executive director of the center, cited cost and convenience as reasons why students should receive their vaccinations at the center. She said students would pay less than if they went to an outside clinic, and will also save time since they are already on campus.

“If they have any problems, they can come right back and be seen immediately,” said Hanenberg, though she indicated she has not experienced a student having a bad reaction to the inoculation in the past.

The shots are part of an overall university fall wellness campaign, according to Hanenberg. Her center has worked to promote preventative student health through emails and other advertisements, including 75 posters throughout housing.

Additionally, the health center is working to ensure all the hand sanitizer stations around the campus are filled.

Hanenberg urged students to avoid unnecessary close contact and maintain good personal hygiene.

The spread of the flu often occurs before symptoms are recognized.

El Paso County Public Health explained in a statement that “it is possible to spread flu 24 hours before symptoms occur.”

They also indicated that “it takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop an immune response.”

The agency also reported that last year the county was responsible for more than 10 percent of the state’s recorded influenza cases.

The university’s preventative program is also aimed at decreasing the number of students who end up needing to be seen for health reasons.

Twice as many students have been to the center this past month than in August 2013, said Hanenberg, though she said this was for numerous reasons, including the reduced cost of visits.

The Student Health Center is located in the Public Safety building at the east end of the Parking Garage.