Help Augusta University win national flu prevention challenge

Photo of AU mascot Augustus getting a mock flu shot
Augustus wants YOU to get your flu shot!

In an effort to educate the campus community on the importance of flu prevention, Augusta University Student Health Services is introducing an educational campaign and series of flu vaccine clinics.

Influenza, known as flu, is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose and throat, and the best way to prevent it is with annual vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends daily preventive actions such as staying home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and frequent handwashing or use of sanitizer.

Image of red flu sticker on AU mascot Augustus's shirt
Be sure to get vaccinated this flu season.

The flu typically causes fever, chills, coughing, sore throat, body aches and extreme fatigue, but the illness can have more severe consequences for young children and other vulnerable groups.

In February 2003, 5-year-old Alana Yaksich died from flu-related complications within hours of the onset of her symptoms. To honor Alana, her family started Alana’s Foundation in 2009. The nonprofit organization strives to educate the public on the severity of influenza and the importance of annual vaccination.

This year, Augusta University has teamed up with Alana’s Foundation and joined the 2019-20 Alana Yaksich National College and University Flu Vaccine Challenge with over 30 other universities from across the country. The goal of this annual challenge is to increase flu vaccination rates on college campuses.

Students and staff who receive flu shots at any location are encouraged to join the Alana Yaksich National Challenge by completing the brief flu shot survey.

Promo image that says "Help your school win the 2019-2020 Alana Yaksich National College/University flu challenge. Take the 5-second survey to be counted!"
Augusta University students, faculty and staff who get vaccinated between Sept. 1 and Dec. 6 can self-report their vaccination to Alana’s Foundation through a brief six-question survey. After getting vaccinated, scan the above QR code or visit the link to take the survey.

The competition runs through Dec. 6 and tiers institutions based on total undergraduate student population (small: fewer than 10,000 students; medium: 10,001 to 25,000 students; large: 25,001 or more students). The three institutions with the most surveys submitted in their size category will win the Alana Yaksich Memorial Trophy.

The Student Health Flu Vaccine Outpost clinics are coming to a location near you in late October and early November, and students can check the “Outreach Events” section of the Student Health Services website for upcoming dates and locations. However, students do not have to wait for an outpost clinic date and may walk in to the Student Health Clinic at any time and receive a vaccination for $10. Students who have the Student Health Insurance plan can get vaccinated at no charge.

For more information about Student Health Services, email To learn more about the 2019-20 Alana Yaksich National College and University Flu Vaccine Challenge, read the full rules here.

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Written by
Paige Fowler

Paige Fowler is the Communications Specialist for the Division of Enrollment and Student Affairs at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at

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Written by Paige Fowler

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University and AU Health. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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