Campus Health no longer providing flu shots, UA students seek shot elsewhere
Update: Campus health has received 100 more doses of the flu vaccine as of Tuesday morning.
A rising number of flu cases have depleted the supply of flu vaccinations on the UA campus, but some community members are not concerned.
According to Lisette LeCorgne, a nurse practictioner and coordinator for urgent care at Campus Health Service, Campus Health no longer has flu shots available to students, after running out Jan. 11. She said she wasn’t sure when more shots would be available again. Arizona has had about 1,300 cases of the flu, and Tucson has had between 200 and 300 as of Friday, according to Sean Elliott, the medical director of infection prevention at the University Medical Center. However, Arizona is not currently facing a flu epidemic, he added.
The number of flu cases seen at Campus Health has also been increasing since Christmas, LeCorgne said.
“We’ve had probably at least a dozen positives,” LeCorgne said. “But we are seeing dozens more than that. We are starting to see
that pick up even this week.”
Although Campus Health has run out of supplies, there are other places community members go, such as Walgreens and UAMC.
Patrick Jerome, the Walgreens district pharmacy supervisor for Tucson, explained that their goal is to keep the flu shots in stock throughout all of the stores.
“We are keeping it [flu vaccine] in stock and doing our best to continually, on a day-to-day basis, balance the inventory so that we can make sure that we have adequate coverage throughout the whole metro area,” Jerome said. “Occasionally our inventory levels may dip down or they may run out, but as soon as that does happen we are doing our best to make sure that we do reallocate appropriately.”
Studio art sophomore Cassie Popeski said she is seeking her flu shot elsewhere, since she gets one every year and Alanna Felix, a communications senior, said she received hers on the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
Other students said they don’t feel the need to receive a flu vaccine.
“I’ve never had a problem with it,” said Ryan Mammana, a neuroscience freshman. “I have never had the flu. Guess I should knock on wood.”
For those who are concerned, there are a number of things students can do to avoid catching the flu. LeCorgne advises students to stand at least 10 feet away from people who are coughing and to get behind them, not in front of them. Students who are coughing should wear masks and the Campus Health pharmacy sells packs of five for $2.
Hand sanitizer is also beneficial in avoiding getting sick, and after using the bathroom, students should open the door with a paper towel, LeCorgne added.
“Avoid touching your face.” LeCorgne said. “This is how we transmit these infections. We touch whatever is contaminated and then we touch our faces.”
LeCorgne explained that the flu vaccine takes two weeks to take full effect.
“There is still time,” LeCorgne said. “If people could get flu shots, it would still be effective for them. So if people haven’t gotten the shot yet, it would still be a worthwhile endeavor.”