Every year, millions of individuals are diagnosed with the influenza virus. At Texas A&M University, Student Health Services (SHS) is taking strides to keep thousands of students protected from the flu. SHS sponsors an annual Flu Shot Campaign that provides free flu vaccines to students. Last year, SHS distributed more than 4,000 free flu vaccines during a two-day campaign. This year, SHS is hosting its annual Flu Shot Campaign on October 3 and 4, 8am – 5pm and will be providing free flu vaccines to students. Students are highly encouraged to bring the TAMU Student ID and a copy of their health insurance information (card or photo accepted). If the student does not have health insurance, Student Health Services will pay for the vaccine.
The locations for this Campaign include: Emerging Technologies Building (ETB: First Floor Lobby), Evans Library (Main Entry near Starbucks), Memorial Student Center (MSC: Near Copy Corner), and Wehner (First Floor Lobby). The flu vaccines during this Campaign are available to currently enrolled TAMU students, and faculty/staff are able to receive a flu vaccine with their appropriate health insurance information. For additional information regarding this Campaign, please contact Patient Services at (979) 458-8310 or visit calendar.tamu.edu/shs.
The Influenza Virus at Texas A&M University
Flu season in the United States typically runs from October through March. However, illness from the influenza virus can occur at any time of the year, especially if you travel outside of the country. At Texas A&M, we have seen flu cases as early as the week before classes begin in the fall semester. Flu symptoms most commonly include body aches, fever, chills, headache and respiratory symptoms. Some may also experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Illness can last 5-7 days and in some cases be so severe that hospitalization is required. Every year, thousands of people in the US die from complications of the flu. Most of the deaths are in individuals with underlying health issues that make the flu much more severe. Fortunately, most college students are healthy and will completely recover from the flu. But with the rigorous academic schedule associated with college classes, students cannot afford to miss a week or more of classes. For this reason, SHS sponsors the annual flu shot campaign and encourages all students to get vaccinated every year.
The best ways to prevent illness from the influenza virus is to receive an annual flu vaccine, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you are ill, it is recommended that you stay home as the flu is very contagious. The annual flu vaccine may not prevent all cases of influenza. However, if you get the flu, having received the vaccine will likely reduce the severity and length of the illness. There are medications that can shorten the length of flu symptoms as well, so if a student develops flu symptoms they are encouraged to contact SHS early in their illness to determine if medications are appropriate. For more information about the flu, check out the CDC webpage, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.
Services Available at SHS
SHS is the on-campus healthcare provider for currently enrolled students. Not only does SHS employ board-certified clinicians within its medical clinic, SHS has a Pharmacy, Radiology, Dietitian, Physical Therapy, Women’s Clinic, Laboratory, EMS and Preventive Medicine all within its clinic. When students are feeling ill at Texas A&M University, SHS is able to provide exceptional medical care for any student in need.
Students are encouraged to make an appointment for a medical visit when they come into the clinic, but walk-in visits are also accepted. Appointments can be made online at http://shs.tamu.edu/appointments, or by phone at (979) 458-8250.
SHS strives to help students “Stay Well, Do Well” at Texas A&M University. If you ever need to speak with a SHS representative, please contact Patient Services for assistance. Stay up to date on SHS events, health information, and more by connecting with SHS on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram): @TAMUhealth.
Health Communications and Marketing Manager
Student Health Services