The COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent effects on society have increased the importance of both physical and mental health. With the rapidly approaching flu season and the anticipated impacts of the flu on the spread of COVID-19, Meredith is requiring flu vaccines for all students who are living on campus during the 2020-2021 academic year.
“The most effective way to protect yourself and those around you from getting the flu is to get a flu shot,” Student Health Center Director Dr. Mary Johnson said. “As part of our ongoing commitment to create a healthy campus, the Student Health Center has partnered with Stringfield Pharmacy to provide four onsite flu shot clinics this fall.”
The flu shot clinic will be held in Kresge Auditorium, with pharmacists on site to administer the flu vaccine to all students, faculty and staff who make an appointment. When arriving at the flu clinic, Student Health asks that all attendees come with the vaccine administration form already filled out and a photocopy of their health insurance card. The four dates of the clinic are as follows: Wednesday, Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, Oct. 5 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For students who have chosen to live off-campus this semester, those who are unable to attend the clinic dates offered by the Student Health Center or those covered by Cigna, which doesn’t cover the cost of the on-campus shots, there are various alternative locations where members of the Meredith community can receive the flu vaccine. These include Walgreens and CVS pharmacies, Publix pharmacies, the MinuteClinic located in Target shopping centers and the Health Park Pharmacy located in North Raleigh.
With the emergence of COVID-19, the importance of considering physical health measures is more critical now than ever. This starts with being proactive and honest about your health. Getting tested for COVID-19 when knowledge arises of a potential exposure is one of the simplest ways to accomplish this goal. In terms of COVID-19 testing, the Wake County area has many testing sites which citizens can choose from. For more information about the COVID-19 testing process, click here for an overview of Wake County resources and to find the testing site nearest to you.
In addition, it is beneficial for the general public to be educated on the signs and symptoms of both the flu and COVID-19. According to the CDC, COVID-19 and the flu are similar in that they have symptoms ranging from fever and chills to cough and extreme fatigue. However, there are some significant differences due to the fact that the flu more severely affects children, while COVID-19 poses higher risks for the elderly and vulnerable populations.
Although COVID-19 and the flu differ in their symptoms and treatments, it is critical for the Meredith community to get the flu vaccine this year in order for campus to remain as safe and healthy as possible. More information on the College’s continual efforts to combat COVID-19 can be found on Meredith’s Staying Strong website.
By Hannah Porter, Staff Writer