by Ernie Andreoli ’18
Upon entrance, students were asked to provide their insurance card, as well as to fill out a seasonal influenza consent form. “Be proactive, get the flu shot, and have a healthy winter,” said Kelleher.
While Student Health Services provides such an opportune service to students, traditionally, attendance has been low. According to Kelleher, Student Health Services typically administers 300 vaccinations per season. However, during the peak of flu season, the Health Center sees a number of students with influenza symptoms.
“Most patients are ill for seven to ten days, sleep deprived, unable to attend classes, and many leave campus due to their illness,” Kelleher stated. However, Student Health Services hopes to see a jump in those who receive a flu shot due to a greater emphasis on advertisement.
The Providence College Parent Program sent an e-mail to the parents of each class in late September, and the flu shot clinics have been advertised through Providence College’s “Morning Mail” service.
“It was convenient and quick, and I am glad that the college is able to provide this service,” noted Erin Walsh ’20. “It is free, so I have no complaints,” stated Michael Fozz ’19.
Fozz went on to say that he was thankful that Student Health Services provided this service, and that the “student body can take advantage of this preventive care offered on campus.”
Getting a flu shot can reduce flu illnesses, health services visits, missed classes and schoolwork, and may prevent flu related complications and hospitalizations. Signs and symptoms of influenza include: fever, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, body aches, and headaches.
Though rumors regarding the severity of the coming flu season are swirling, the Center for Disease Control explains that this gossip is unfounded. Since 2010, the CDC estimates 9.2 million and 36.5 million illnesses per year in the U.S.
According to Kelleher, “The first step to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot.” The CDC and Prevention also recommends preventative actions, such as staying away from people who are sick, good personal hygiene, covering coughs and sneezes, frequent handwashing, and adequate sleep.
“The more faculty, staff, and students who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from the flu,” noted Kelleher. Student Health Services will hold two more flu vaccination clinic in ’64 Hall on Thursday, October 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Wednesday, November 8, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Students are encouraged to contact Student Health Services at 401-865-2422 with any flu related questions, or visit the Rhode Island Department of Health’s website for helpful information.