Successful on-campus flu vaccine clinic caters to student needs

Hundreds of Muhlenberg community members received flu shots in the Life Sports Center.

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Riley Wexler '24 getting his flu shot. Photo from @muhlenbergcollege on Instagram.

Last Wednesday, Sept. 29, Muhlenberg hosted an on-campus flu vaccine clinic in the Life Sports Center. Four pharmacists from Weis Markets were set up in the Solar Corridor to administer the shot to recipients. With over 350 shots given to Muhlenberg faculty, staff and students over the course of five hours, the clinic turned out to be an accommodating option for students looking to fulfill this year’s flu shot requirement. 

At the clinic, students expressed gratitude for the on-campus clinic. Patrick McDonald ‘23 acknowledged that there are other local options that give the flu shot but shared that the Muhlenberg clinic “definitely makes it a lot easier for me [to get the vaccine] because I don’t have a car.”

Sara Fink ‘23 and Amanda Bloom ‘23 also spoke to the convenience of Muhlenberg’s clinic. Both stated that they otherwise would have gotten the shot at home over fall break but opted for the campus clinic instead. “As soon I saw [the school’s email about the clinic], I checked it out and printed out the paperwork, just because I really wanted to get one as soon as possible,” said Fink. 

 In the midst of the COVID pandemic and an outbreak of the infamous “Muhlen-plague,” concerns for the student body’s health and wellness seem dire.  One pharmacist at the clinic stressed the importance of the vaccine, “It’s just really important for everyone to get out and get their flu vaccine, and I know COVID is mainly taking over the vaccinations lately, but it’s also equally important to get your flu vaccine because people are still dying of the flu every year.” 

“As soon I saw [the school’s email about the clinic], I checked it out and printed out the paperwork, just because I really wanted to get one as soon as possible”

While, for most, getting the flu shot  is a relatively simple way to prevent contracting the flu, for others, the shot raises its own concerns. McDonald, who has an allergy to eggs, shared that he was “slightly worried” about the potential negative reaction to the vaccine. He consulted his doctor, who advised he still get the vaccine and wait briefly in the clinic after receiving it out of an abundance of caution. “At least if I do have a [reaction] here, the hospital is only three minutes away and I’m sure the people here could drive me.” 

Despite the short wait after his shot, McDonald noted that it took him less than two minutes from his arrival at the Life Sports Center to get the vaccine. Other students who arrived right after the dismissal of a busy class block were less lucky. “Lines are annoying but at the same time, I don’t have class until later and I’ve completed all my work for now. So, [it’s] worth it,” said Fink. “I think it’s important for [the College] to provide this service, because you don’t know how many people aren’t able to get it because of issues with their insurance or timing.” 

According to the College’s communications about the clinic, most insurance is accepted with no copay and students without insurance can pay $20 out-of-pocket for the shot, cash only. The clinic’s accessibility was praised by Bloom, who said, “It shows that Muhlenberg cares about us as students and as people.” 

“It’s just really important for everyone to get out and get their flu vaccine, and I know COVID is mainly taking over the vaccinations lately, but it’s also equally important to get your flu vaccine because people are still dying of the flu every year.”

According to one of the event organizers, Muhlenberg’s Director of Employment & Benefits Erin Murray, “This is the first year we’ve done a combined [clinic] with students.” She compared the clinic’s popularity to the approximately 200 shots given in previous years at faculty-only clinics. “Hopefully we don’t run out,” she stated earnestly. Murray shared plans to run another on-campus clinic that was announced shortly after. 

Next Wednesday, Oct. 13, a second on-campus flu shot clinic will take place in the Solar Corridor of the Life Sports Center from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m. Although no appointment is necessary, those hoping to attend should remember to bring either $20 in cash, if uninsured, or both their  prescription and insurance cards.

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