As the South creeps further into the fall, and therefore the flu season, student pharmacists on the University of Mississippi campus are making their yearly push to encourage the Ole Miss community to get the flu shot.
The program, Operation Immunization, is being hosted by the university’s chapter of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists. They have been holding flu shot clinics across campus since Sept. 14. The last will be today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pavillion.
The shot is $40 and is covered by most insurance plans. Those in the university community who plan to receive a shot at Operation Immunization should arrive with their insurance card and Ole Miss ID. The full or remaining cost can be charged to bursar accounts.
Their website reads, “Operation immunization is an awareness campaign designed to increase the public’s knowledge while increasing the number of adults receiving immunizations.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, 48.4% of adults — individuals aged 18 or older — received the flu shot during the 2019-20 flu season. Preliminary estimates from the CDC suggest that 35 million Americans experienced flu-related illnesses and 20,000 died because of flu-related illnesses.
“I think that getting the flu shot is important because we’re not only protecting ourselves from the virus, but also protecting those who may not be able to get the virus or who are immunocompromised,” Lindsey Hohlt, a pharmacy student administering the flu vaccine, said.
Though Operation Immunization comes to a close today, there are many more opportunities on campus and throughout Oxford to get the flu shot. It is being offered at Pharmacy Health Services inside the health center on campus. The city of Oxford frequently offers pop-up vaccination sites. Many retail locations such as Walmart, CVS, Kroger and Walgreens offer the flu shot annually.
Sophia Jaramillo contributed reporting.