Health Services offers flu shots in Murray-Herrick

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Health Services and the Wellness Center are administering flu shots today in the Murray-Herrick atrium for students, faculty and staff members who want to prevent illness during the upcoming flu season.

St. Thomas has received 1,500 doses of the flu vaccine, with a portion reserved for students taking part in study abroad programs.

Director of Health Services and the Wellness Center Madonna McDermott thinks the flu shot is a great preventative measure because it is easy, quick and relatively painless, especially when considering the alternative.

“What folks fail to realize is that people die from influenza every year,” McDermott said. “People living in close quarters who get little sleep, like students, could be at high risk.”

Students and faculty members are taking advantage of the available vaccine shots. Karen Porath, a registered nurse, said she administers an average of 50 flu shots per day. Her record vaccinations was 182 in one day.

Students under St. Thomas’ Aetna health insurance policy do not need to pay for the shot. For students with other health insurance providers, the vaccine is $20 and can be paid for by cash, check or billed to the student’s account.

Kristi Battarbee contributed to this report.

Rebecca Omastiak can be reached at