Health center offers flu shots on campus
Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
Flu season strikes again, putting students, faculty and staff at risk for the new strain floating around the chilly autumn air.
According to David Porras, business manager at the Student Health Center, the flu shot will be available at the Student Health Center for the remainder of the flu season and students who have insurance or are under the Academic Health Plan with UTEP do not need to pay for it. However, those who do not would need to pay $20 for the shot.
“We do not take in faculty because there is simply not enough of our staff to handle everyone,” Porras said. “This is something we are looking to fix in the future, however.”
There is no charge for students at the center. The students’ insurance company will be billed, or a charge will be placed on the students’ Gold Mine account if they do not have the money and will have a year to pay it off. This applies to any service at the health center, especially flu shots since they are considered preventative medicine under President Barack Obama’s health care plan.
Some students don’t feel that a flu shot is necessary and may actually cause more damage.
“I do not think I would recommend it because you have to get it every year and I think it’s like taking antibiotics,” said Myra Fernandez, senior nursing major, who was required to take the immunization for school. “I didn’t think it was necessary because I didn’t think I got that sick and also because of the myth that when you get it, instead of protecting you, it makes you sick right after you get it. I know it’s the intended response but I felt it unnecessary.”
Fernandez believes the flu immunization played a role in the death of her grandmother.
“My mom told me that my grandma’s condition got worse because the shot decreased her immune system and she was already weak,” she said. “It affected her (ability) to get better until she finally passed away.”
According to flu.gov some of the serious side effects of the flu vaccination are difficulty breathing, hives, weakness, racing heart, dizziness and high fever, among others.
The Student Health Center also provides physical, occupational and nutritional services with a referral. According to Porras, the office visits are given at a reasonable price, low-cost immunizations, low-cost medications, inexpensive women exams (such as a pap-smear or breast exam), as well as men’s exams.
All information given to the health center is strictly confidential. All employees and work study students follow the FERPA guidelines and go through compliance. No appointment is necessary except for a physical or pap-smear.
According to Porras, the Student Health Center educates students on having medical insurance coverage and the importance of obtaining it once they hit the “real world.” The Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 8 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday and again from 1 to 4 p.m., and is closed on the weekends. They are located in the Union Building East, Suite 100.
Lorain Watters can be contacted at email@example.com.