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UBCO flu crew descends on Kelowna campus

Next week students, faculty, and staff at UBC Okanagan will offer a free flu vaccine and education by fourth-year nursing students.

Calling themselves The Flu Crew, the nursing students will be on campus in the administration building foyer on Monday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Nursing students will also be promoting additional methods to avert the illness this season, such as adequate hand washing, sleep, and a balanced diet; as well as answering questions and resolving myths about the vaccine.

“Since we are offering these clinics in an academic setting, we thought it would be fun to deliver our message using education, solid reasoning and a sound scientific basis for these interventions -- especially the flu shot," said Chelsea McKeage, one of the four Flu Crew members.

"There are many myths and misunderstandings around the safety and effectiveness of the influenza vaccine that we are confident a little bit of education can resolve.”

The free shots have been made possible through the partnership and sponsorship of the department of health, safety, and environment at UBC's Okanagan campus.  Safeway Pharmacy will also be onsite providing free shots to those who are deemed eligible by provincial policy.  A Public Health Nurse will be overseeing the operation of the clinics.

Amanda Desilets, Flu Crew member, wants to remind those who are thinking about taking part in the clinic of the benefits that immunization and related flu-conscious actions can have on vulnerable persons within the community as these measures can break the chain of infection.

“The vaccine is an integral part of self-protection against sick time and reduced productivity for the individual,” said Desilets.  “But what some people don’t realize is the contribution their actions have to reducing the overall morbidity and mortality that the flu inflicts on the rest of society every year.”

Anyone from the university planning to receive their free immunization is asked to bring their CareCard and wear short sleeves to avoid processing delays and facilitate comfort.

Further information about the clinics, the vaccine, or the illness can be found at www.ubc.ca/okanagan/hse/health/flu.html

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