Walk-in and drive-through services will be available. (Texas A&M University Health Science Center)
By Tamim Choudhury, Texas A&M University Health Science Center
The 2018-2019 flu season is right around the corner. To prepare, flu vaccines are being offered to Texas A&M System employees, their eligible dependents and retirees on five different dates starting mid-October. Both walk-in and drive-through services will be available.
This initiative is a partnership among the Division of Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness, Texas A&M Health Community Clinic (formerly Texas A&M Physicians), the colleges of medicine, nursing and pharmacy and Health Science Center’s Office of Interprofessional Education & Research. Anyone on the A&M Care Plan can receive these vaccines. Outside insurance will not be accepted at the on-site flu vaccine clinics.
“Each year, people die from influenza. It’s a contagious respiratory infection that everyone should take seriously,” said Cindy Weston, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, an assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Nursing.
Whereas it’s true that the vaccine may not cover all strains prevalent in the community, last year those with the vaccine had a less severe infection than those who didn’t receive the vaccine, according to observational data. Even if the vaccine efficacy is not very high, it will provide some protection against a severe, overwhelming case of the flu.
Health Science Center students, under supervision of faculty, will be administering the vaccinations at each clinic. This is a collaborative effort to offer flu vaccines to thousands of patients, meaning that students across the health professions will be working together. Vaccines available this year are quadrivalent, covering two influenza A viruses and two influenza B strains.
Besides promoting a healthier flu season for Aggieland, these clinics offer Health Science Center students an interprofessional opportunity to learn from each other. The drive-through clinic also offers an opportunity to practice quickly immunizing a large number of people, in case a pandemic ever requires similar emergency measures to be put in place.
Clinics are scheduled as follows:
Walk-in flu vaccine clinic:
- October 17: 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the Health Professions Education Building on the Health Science Center’s Bryan campus
- October 24: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the Memorial Student Center
- October 26: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the General Service Complex
- November 8: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Student Rec Center
Drive-through flu vaccine clinic:
- October 18: 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. in the Fan Field parking lot off Research Parkway
For the most up-to-date information related to these clinics, please visit https://wellnessworks.tamu.edu/.
This article by Tamim Choudhury originally appeared in Vital Record.