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Flu Shots At OU Campuses

Bennett Hall on the campus of Ohio University Chillicothe. Dan Ramey/Litter Media

Presented By Atomic Speedway

(Athens) — Flu season is back, and students are encouraged to get their flu vaccines. Students in Athens can visit OhioHealth Campus Care or various locations throughout the community, and students on regional campuses are encouraged to reach out to local providers in their area. 

Influenza can cause a severe respiratory illness and is contagious. It causes time loss from school and work, and can lead to hospitalization and in some cases, death. The annual flu vaccine is recommended for all individuals ages 6 months and older. 

“This year – even more than ever – it’s important,” said Dr. Jane Balbo, a family physician in the Primary Care Clinic of OhioHealth Campus Care located in the Ohio University Athens Student Health Center. “Influenza can cause life-threatening symptoms. It’s not as common but it can. Right now our health care systems are stressed by people who are ill with COVID and the more people who have flu vaccines the more likely we are to not have people becoming very ill with influenza, which means we’re less likely to have those people present for medical treatment in our emergency rooms, urgent cares and hospitals – which are quite overrun right now.”

COVID-19 and flu are caused by different viruses, which is why the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine are different. The flu vaccine does not impact COVID-19 vaccination or immunity status, and vice-versa. You can get these vaccines within a close timeframe, even concurrently, if necessary.

Flu vaccines can generate a response with mild, short-lived symptoms as your body builds immunity. It is not possible to contract infection through a flu vaccine injection. The flu vaccine is approved, authorized, and has undergone rigorous evaluation and testing before release through various stages of CDC/FDA review.

“Having a flu vaccine doesn’t make a person sick. They might feel a little crummy as their immune system is getting revved up, and that will protect them from getting very ill with influenza a lot of the time. It won’t necessarily prevent them from getting influenza but it will reduce the chances that they’ll get very sick with influenza or that they’ll be able to transmit it to others,” Balbo said. 

Students on the Athens campus can make an appointment to visit OhioHealth Campus Care at Ohio University, located near the Campus Green on 2 Church Street, to receive their flu vaccine. The clinic is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and appointments can be made by calling 740-592-7100 or 740-592-7176. The cost of the vaccine is billed to the student’s health insurance, and students are encouraged to check their plan to be sure OhioHealth is an in-network provider before scheduling an appointment. 

Students at the Ohio University Chillicothe Campus can get their vaccines at the Bennett Hall Art Gallery on Oct 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pre-registration is not required to receive the vaccine at the Chillicothe Campus.

Vaccines are also available in the Athens community at local pharmacies and the Athens City County Health Department. Students should not go to the emergency room for their flu vaccine.