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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the 2019-20 Alana Yaksich National College and University Flu Vaccine Challenge, read the full rules here.