An increased number of flu vaccinations were given out during the flu vaccination clinic from Oct. 16 to Oct. 23, causing a dosage shortage at BYU-Idaho.
“We ran out of vaccinations at the flu clinic because we gave out more doses than expected,” said Alison Warner, the public health coordinator at the Health Center and a senior studying health science.
Warner said last year the clinic gave about 130 students and employees the flu vaccination each day during the five-day special clinic.
This semester, over 200 shots were given on the first day, over 150 on the second day, and on the third day all of the remaining flu vaccinations were given out. This meant there were no shots available for the following days of the clinic.
Warner said the Health Center puts on flu vaccination clinics to make the vaccine more accessible to students, employees and employee’s families.
Warner said the Health Center was expecting to receive new shipment of vaccinations Oct. 28, however the shipment did not arrive.
“The shipment has not arrived yet, and because they have been pushing back the date so many times, I don’t have a solid date for when we will receive it,” Warner said.
She said they are hoping to know when the shipment will arrive by Nov. 4 or 5 so flu vaccinations can continue at BYU-I.
“We have about 15,000 students on campus this semester and we’re only vaccinating around 1000 individuals, and that is including our employees and their families,” Warner said.
She said that even though there was an increase of people getting shots this semester, there is still a lot of improvements that need to be made.
“Right now is the prime time to get a flu shot. In fact, the sooner the better,” Warner said.
According to Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare, October is the recommended time of year to get a flu shot.
“While seasonal influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time influenza activity peaks in January or later,” according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare website. “Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop, it is best for people to get vaccinated so they are protected before influenza begins spreading in their community.”
Warner said it is important for students to get the flu vaccine because some people are at high risk, in particular the elderly, children, pregnant woman and individuals with certain health conditions.
Warner said she’s concerned that some students at BYU-I don’t take the vaccine seriously enough.
“Living in a cold weather environment, you’re indoors so much and so you’re surrounded by people all the time, some of which are sick, and when you’re in close proximity to sick individuals that means you could get sick as well,” said Holly Frederick a sophomore studying biology who got the flu vaccine from the BYU-I special clinic.
Warner said the clinic’s goal should be to keep the population here at BYU-I as healthy as possible.
“As students, we are in the age frame where we still think we’re invincible. We’re not as worried about the impact we can have on the people we come in contact with and how they might be affected,” Frederick said.
According to Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare, influenza, is spread by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. Those infected are contagious one day before symptoms develop and to five to seven days after becoming sick.
“So even before I’m starting to feel crummy, I can be spreading the flu to other people around me and causing the infection and illness to be spread,” Warner said.