Keeping UA Safe From the Flu

October 1, 2021

The University of Alabama is providing free flu shots to students, faculty and staff through mid-November at pop-up locations across campus. The goal of the annual campaign, led by UA’s College of Community Health Sciences, is to protect the University community from the flu by making flu shots easy and convenient to get. This year marks the 10th year of the flu shot campaign. CCHS operates University Medical Center.

Dr. Richard Friend, dean of CCHS and a family medicine physician, said while it is important to get a flu vaccine every year, it is even more important now as COVID-19 continues to impact individuals and the health-care system.

“People need to make sure they are protected against the flu, and a flu shot is the best way to do that,” Friend said. “When enough people are vaccinated, it is more difficult for the flu to spread, which means everyone is less likely to get the flu.”

Even those not able to get vaccinated, such as newborns, are offered some protection because when a sufficient portion of the population is vaccinated, the disease has little chance to spread within the community, Friend said.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and serious consequences of flu infection can result in hospitalization and at times can even lead to death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the flu shot campaign, nurses from University Medical Center and from UA’s Student Health Center and Capstone College of Nursing administer vaccines at the UA Quad, campus buildings, and other locations on campus. WellBAMA is also a flu shot campaign partner. Spouses of employees can also receive the free flu vaccine at campus flu shot sites or at UMC.

An annual flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk for serious complications from the flu, including: children younger than 5 years but especially children younger than 2 years, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum, people with certain chronic health conditions, and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

In addition to the campus flu shot locations, vaccinations are also available to dependents of UA employees. Children of employees with UA health insurance can receive flu vaccinations at UMC, and children of employees with non-UA health insurance can receive flu shots at UMC if their insurance has approved nurse practitioner coverage.

Check out our schedule for flue shot times and locations.