Free flu shots available in the Union

Lauren Graham, Staff Reporter

Eastern Health Services and the Coles County Health Department are having free flu shots for students, faculty, staff, and retirees at 9 a.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Ballroom Union, Wednesday.

The flu shots for students are in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Ballroom and then in the Bridge Lounge for the staff, faculty and retirees.

Students need to bring are their Panther Card, but faculty, staff and retirees need not only their Panther Card, but a valid insurance or Medicare card.

Lynette Drake, the Director of Health Services said the reason students, staff, faculty and retirees are not in the same room are because Health Services is provided just for the students and the Coles County Health Department are provided for everyone else.

“They are programmed together and they run flu shot programs on the same day because of the campus flu campaign,” Drake said. “We try to encourage everybody to get flu shots on that day.”

Health Services is trying to decrease the spread of flu on campus, so the flu shots are free on Wednesday without an appointment. The shots will still be free for students all year, but will require an appointment.

About 1,000 shots for students are given with the set-up of several tables, to be able to immunize many people.

Drake said that all students have to do is come in, take care of the paperwork needed and get the flu shot, which could take only five minutes.

It is very quick, very fast and it’s in a very public place where you can come in between classes or during lunch, whenever students have the free time to get it done, Drake said.

“This is very quick, very efficient and we put a lot of resources together to provide this and we hope that students will take advantage of it,” Drake said.

When it comes down to the question of how many people at Eastern get the flu, Drake said that it just depends on the year.

Drake said the more people who get vaccinated the less opportunity exists of spreading the flu.

The flu this year is supposed to be a little worse from last year’s flu.

“The flu vaccine, which is developed for distribution this year is supposed to be very effective against the strength that we’re seeing and that’s good news,” Drake said.

Drake said that in previous years faculty members walked over with their entire class, and got flu shots done in 15 to 20 minutes.

“I would just like to say this is a wonderful collaborative effort between the Health Department and Health Services that we enjoy providing every year,” Drake said. “It’s fun to offer and people really seem to appreciate it.”


Lauren Graham can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]