The Newman University Student Government Association (SGA) along with the nursing department co-sponsored an event Oct. 7 to provide free flu shots for Newman students.
The shots were in high demand as they ran out in just a few hours.
“For the past couple of years, SGA has sponsored a flu shot clinic. The initiative allows students to get their flu shot free of cost just as flu season is starting to kick off,” he said. “The event hopes to help protect our students and the Newman population from the flu and all its complications.”
Assistant Professor of Nursing Amelia Hopper said that despite providing 20 more doses than last year, the shots ran out faster.
“We gave 108 injections in less than two hours,” she said. “Last year, we went through more than 90 doses a half-hour into the second shift.”
Rojas-Montero, who is also the SGA Nursing and Allied Health senator, created a bill in early September to fund the flu shots, which was then passed by the senate body.
“This event was made possible because of the decision of the senate and I was very happy to see it was approved by all so quickly,” he said.
Hopper said it was SGA’s funding and Rojas-Montero’s hard work and persistence that made this event possible.
“They provide the funds and advertisement, and the nursing department provides the students to administer the injections, the supplies and the lab,” Hopper said. “Jose was very passionate about making sure the flu clinic would happen this year and even emailed me over the summer to make sure we would have the best dates for all students.”
While SGA provided the funds, the flu shots gave students from the nursing department real-life opportunities to practice.
“It’s a great opportunity for a student’s first injection, other than on the manikin, to be on a healthy adult,” Hopper said. “Once we’re out in the clinical setting, there are a lot more things to be thinking about.”
Rojas-Montero said obtaining a flu shot is essential no matter how someone is involved on campus.
“As students, we spend so much of our time in close proximity with one another. Some of us live on campus, are involved, play sports,” he said. “We know this increases the chances of getting the flu because of the way of transmission. The more that we vaccinate and protect bigger groups of people the better it is for the entire population.”
Hopper said having a flu shot is the best way to manage not getting sick in advance.
“As health care professionals we care deeply about preventative care and stopping illness at the upstream,” she said. “It’s much easier to manage sickness before someone becomes sick.”
Hopper said that having a flu shot is not just about the benefit of one person.
“Even if you’ve never been sick with the flu,” she said, “it’s important to get the vaccine to help protect yourself, but also others who can’t get the flu shot.”
After the success of the SGA free flu shots, the Residence Hall Association has decided to purchase shots as well. Students who were unable to acquire a flu shot and still want one can contact Director of Residence Life Scott Mudloff for more information.