Mercer University has scheduled flu shot clinics on its Macon and Atlanta campuses throughout October to make it easy and convenient for students, faculty and staff to get the flu vaccine.
There will be no cost for the shots, as most insurance plans cover the shots with no deductible, and insurance will be filed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine, with rare exceptions. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts say it’s more important than ever to be vaccinated this year.
“The combination of flu and coronavirus carries higher health risks,” said Dr. Jean Rawlings Sumner, dean of Mercer’s School of Medicine. “That’s why it makes this year more important than ever to get your flu vaccine.”
Getting a flu shot will help protect you, your family and community from the flu. It also can help lessen the burden placed on health care systems and save much-needed medical resources for the care of COVID-19 patients.
The vaccine first will be available on the Atlanta campus, with clinics scheduled 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 9 and 13 and 2-6 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Student Health Center in the Sheffield Gym.
In Macon, clinics will be offered 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 21 and 28 in the Connell Student Center lobby and 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Oct. 22, 23, 26 and 27 at Heritage Hall in the University Center.
No appointment is necessary. Those who get a flu shot on either campus will be entered in daily drawings for gift cards. The Macon drawings also will include orange parking permits, which allow the holder to park in any lot on campus.
“This fall and winter could be one of the most complicated public health times we have with the two (COVID-19 and the flu) coming at the same time,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said during a JAMA Network livestreamed interview. “On the other hand, I’m an optimist that if the American public heeds the advice that we’ve said about the face covering, the social distancing, the hand washing and being smart about crowds, this could be one of the best flu seasons we’ve had.
“And particularly if they do one more thing, which is to embrace the flu vaccine with confidence.”