Free flu shots available soon for MU students

Friday, October 4, 2013 | 8:26 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The MU Student Health Center will not be charging students an additional fee to get flu shots this season.

In 2012, students were charged an additional $12.50 for the shots. This year, the vaccinations are being covered by the prepaid health fee students pay as part of their tuition.

"Not everyone is going to come in and get the shot," said Deneal Sullivan, MU's director of clinical services. "Last year we didn't get as many people as we would hope, but flu shots are pretty important."

The shots provided by the Student Health Center this year will cover influenza type B, which was the most common type of flu found in Missouri last year, according the the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The health center is waiting to receive its flu shots because Novartis, the company that supplies the vaccine, has experienced a shortage. The company is supplying more vaccinations than usual this year, resulting in a delay in delivery, said Pam Roe, the health center's information specialist.

According to the MU Student Health Center website, the shots are expected to be delivered Wednesday. If the shots come in, there will be stations set up on campus next week to provide services that are "easily available to the students," Roe said.

The shots will be available at:

  • Memorial Union, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday
  • School of Nursing, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday
  • College of Veterinary Medicine, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday

For more flu shot event information, go to the Student Health Center's website.

Students must bring their student identification to receive the free flu shot.

Columbia College students can also receive free flu shots at their school, and at Stephens College, flu shots are available to students for $10.

"The flu shot is important because people can get really sick and feel awful for days; it could last up to a week," Sullivan said. "Students can't afford to be out of classes for that long. By getting the flu shot, you are helping yourself stay healthy and successful as a student."

Supervising editor is Margaux Henquinet.

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Corey Parks October 5, 2013 | 7:36 a.m.

What did MU use the $12.50 per student from previous years flu shots if the students had to pay in the past? Or did the students health care fees increase over the summer by $12.50 to pay for it this year? When reporting on these things you should always follow the money trail as well as ask questions like this. As a tax payer funding colleges like MU and others it would be nice to know.

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