Oct. 5, 2021
Free flu shots available on campus starting mid-October
With Canadian universities returning to campus this fall, anxieties surrounding the COVID-19 virus continue to be at the forefront. But now, with “regular” flu season also arriving, medical experts are advising that influenza is still something to take seriously, and a flu vaccine is the best way to avoid this illness.
“For most, the flu is an irritating virus that takes three or so days of our lives away,” says Dr. James Dickinson, PhD, a professor of family medicine with the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine and head of the Alberta community influenza surveillance program.
“For others, though, the flu can be a very serious and sometimes deadly disease. These are the people that we need to protect most, by reducing transmission.”
COVID-19 versus flu vaccines
One of Dickinson’s primary concerns is reminding people that the influenza vaccine is not the same as the COVID-19 vaccine. “These are two completely different viruses that our immune systems treat in different ways,” says Dickinson. “These two vaccines have no biological interaction with each other, but it is recommended administering the influenza vaccine influenza 14 days before or after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Flu vaccines on campus
Staff Wellness and Student Wellness Services are partnering to offer free flu vaccines to students, faculty and staff beginning in mid-October. Anyone interested in participating is being asked to book an appointment. There will be a touchless registration system and appointments will be spaced out to allow for physical distancing.
In addition, Staff Wellness and Student Wellness Services are asking those who book an appointment to download a bar code to their phones or print a barcode to show at the vaccine clinic, a process similar to the COVID-19 vaccinations. All instructions can be found on the UCalgary flu web page.
UCalgary’s flu clinic will be at the following locations:
- Foothills campus (Health Research Innovation Centre Atrium): Oct. 18 and 19
- Main campus (Rosza Centre): Oct. 20 to 22
- Spy Hill campus: Oct. 25
- Engineering (Atrium): Oct. 26
- Dining Centre (Legacy Suite): Oct. 27
- Downtown Campus: Oct. 28