Clinical Flu Shot Provided On Campus: Swine flu Fails to Overshadow Seasonal Influenza Preparation

by   Posted on September 22nd, 2009 in Uncategorized

Amanda Cheek, News Editor

The seasonal flu has not left the minds of many students and faculty at George Mason University this semester. Despite the recent H1N1 epidemic, students and faculty lined up at the first clinic on campus where the flu shot was offered by the School of Nursing on Sept. 15.

Dr. Charlene Douglas, coordinator of Community Health Nursing, said that she was concerned that people were so caught up with the H1N1 virus that they would not come out for the seasonal flu shot.

Douglas also said that the seasonal flu kills about 36,000 people every year and that is just another reason people should get the flu shot.

Jenna David, a geography major and freshman at Mason, said she has never had the flu shot before but chose to get it this year because she was living in the dorms.

“Now that I live on campus, there are a lot of kids [and] a lot of germs. I feel I’m more likely to get it here than just living at home with my family,” said David.

The flu shot clinic offers the seasonal flu shot to students for $15 and to faculty for $20. A shot for pneumonia is also offered at $50 per person.

Informational flyers were  handed out as students and faculty received their shots that were approved by the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The flyer for the seasonal flu shot lists the mild side effects that could be caused by getting the flu shot, which included soreness, redness or swelling near the injection site; hoarseness; sore, red or itchy eyes; coughing, fever and aches.

Marci Jerome, assistant professor of Special Education at Mason, has been working here for 10 years and said she has gotten the flu shot every year since she had children.

“I have two children, and with the whole family, I wanted to get my shot early. I thought they might run out, and with the kids in school, I don’t want to get [sick] from them,” said Jerome.

Jerome said she did not know if there was any connection between the H1N1 virus and the seasonal flu, but she did not want to take the chance.

Douglas said that now is a great time to get the seasonal flu shot. The H1N1 vaccine will not be released until mid-October, which she said means it would not be available to the public until around late October.

Receiving the shot now will give students and faculty the time to let the seasonal flu vaccine go through their system and body, so they will have processed the first vaccine completely and be ready for the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available, said Douglas.

Douglas believes we should not lose sight of the seasonal flu shot’s importance as a preparation against the seasonal flu, even with our knowledge of the H1N1 virus.

“[We should] prevent what we know [now] even as we prepare for what is new,” said Douglas.

The first flu clinic hosted at Mason took place in Patriot’s Lounge in Student Union Building I on Sept. 15, but there are many others that will be going on at Mason’s Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William Campuses until Nov. 12.

For a full schedule of times the flu shot will be offered at Mason, visit

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>