UBC Okanagan nursing student Sarah Buchsbaum receives her flu shot from fellow student Talia Fraser.

UBCO flu clinic participation receives a shot in the arm

The number of students, staff and faculty rolling up their sleeves has risen 780 per cent over the past decade.

  • Nov. 23, 2015 8:00 a.m.

Ten years ago, 92 people took part in the first flu clinic held at UBC Okanagan. This year, the number of students, faculty, and staff attending on-campus flu clinics has risen to 810 — a 780 per cent increase.

Campus flu clinics are offered annually through a partnership with UBC Okanagan’s School of Nursing, UBC’s Risk Management Services, the Southern Medical Program (SMP), as well as representatives from Safeway Pharmacy.

“While a portion of the increase we are seeing can be attributed to the growth of our campus, it’s clear that awareness is resulting in more people deciding to protect themselves and others from influenza,” said Gord Binsted, dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Development. “We look forward to increasing the awareness and the number of flu shots given on campus in the years to come.”

This year’s flu clinics were held at the UBCO administration building on Nov.4 and 9. Flu shots were available on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional clinics were held for UBC Okanagan nursing and SMP students on Nov. 17 and 19.

“Our nursing students possess a wide variety of knowledge and skills that prepare them to partner in community health initiatives such as flu clinics,” said Sheila Epp, acting director of UBC Okanagan’s School of Nursing. “These flu clinics provide additional opportunities for experiential learning as well as assisting them with their goal of increasing the overall health and wellness of our campus.”

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there were about 8,000 reported hospitalizations due to influenza and 600 reported influenza-related deaths in 2014-15. The best way to prevent the flu, according to the federal government’s health ministry, is to get a flu shot.

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