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OU Goddard Health Services to offer free flu shots to students, staff

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Goddard Health Center March 31.

Goddard Health Services is offering flu shots for OU students and employees starting next week.

According to the OU Health Center website, flu shots will take place by appointment only on Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oklahoma Memorial Union Ballroom and on Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Couch and Walker’s storm shelters. Appointment scheduling will soon be available. 

OU Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler, said in an interview with The Daily that he encourages all students to get their flu shots this year to help keep Goddard staff from being simultaneously overwhelmed by cases of COVID-19 and the flu.

"I don't want anyone to get flu and COVID, and we know that co-infection is possible," Bratzler said. "And then secondly, we're approaching flu season, and the symptoms look a lot alike. We could completely overwhelm Goddard, hospitals, ERs and everyone else if we have a whole bunch of people coming in with influenza."

Students with a valid OU student ID will be able to take the flu shot free of charge, while OU employees should bring their OU ID along with their OU Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance card.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a tweet that around 20 million doses of the flu vaccine have been distributed across the U.S. for the 2020-2021 flu season. According to the website, clinics are using Fluarix Quadrivalent Vaccines, which are thimerosal — a mercury-based preservative contained in multi-dose vials to prevent the growth of germs — and latex-free. Starting Oct. 1, high-dose and egg-free vaccines will be available at Goddard Health Services by scheduling an appointment.

The CDC Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines recommendations are now available on the OU Health Center website for more information. 

Marien López-Medina is an international student and United World Colleges alumna from Nicaragua. She is majoring in journalism with a minor in public and nonprofit administration and works as a news reporter for The Daily.

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