The annual flu shot clinic at TCU will look different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The clinic offers free shots to all students, faculty and staff at the university.
Instead of being held in the University Recreation Center as it has in years past, the clinic will be held in a tent outside in the Campus Commons so social distancing can take place. To make a reservation, there will be QR codes students can scan on posters around campus.
“Less people will be allowed to come in at once to get their flu shot and there will be more crowd control,” said Kaylee Westra, a senior nursing student who is helping plan the clinic.
Westra added that hand sanitizer will be set up throughout the tent and there will be heavy cleaning of pens and clipboards.
Usually, all Senior I and Senior II nurses are allowed to volunteer to give out the flu vaccines. Westra said this year is different because only a small group of students planning the clinic are allowed to administer the vaccines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is making more doses of the flu vaccine available this year to help “lessen the resulting burden on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Scientists and doctors have warned the public about the combination of the flu season with the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the fall and winter seasons.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that the overlapping of the flu season with COVID-19 could place a burden on the health care system.
The increasing worries about the pandemic interfering with the flu season has caused healthcare specialists to urge people to get their flu shots.
The TCU Health Center said receiving the flu vaccine is shown to boost one’s immunity to other illnesses such as COVID-19.
Unlike the national increase of vaccines, the Health Center said there will be no extra vaccinations this year at the free clinic because they do not want a large crowd of people.
There are 3,500 vaccines available this year at TCU, and the nursing department has already started giving some of these vaccines to faculty.
The clinic will be held Oct. 7.