Free flu shots available to limited number of students

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Photo of vials of flu vaccine.

Students are encouraged to get their flu shots soon.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The first 100 uninsured or under-insured Western Michigan University students to get flu shots at the Sindecuse Health Center after Dec. 7 don't have to pay for the vaccinations.

WMU's Student Health Advisory Council has secured funding from the nationwide Alana's Foundation to pick up the tab.

The foundation was created by the family of a 5-year-old girl, Alana, who wasn't vaccinated and died of complications related to the flu. It educates the public about the importance of yearly influenza vaccination, helps increase vaccination rates by providing convenient and affordable vaccination options, and provides support for families that have lost a child.

Timing is important

The U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone 6 months and older receive an annual flu vaccination. Students are encouraged to get immunized before the winter break to protect themselves and their loved ones and friends from seasonal influenza.

Flu cases typically spike in January after students return from break. Because it can take up to two weeks for immunization to reach full effectiveness, it makes sense to get a flu shot now.

To make an appointment to get a flu shot, visit the Sindecuse Health Center online at wmich.edu/healthcenter or call the center at (269) 387-3287. Sindecuse will submit the appropriate claim for students who have insurance.

Alana's Foundation grant funds will cover the cost for the first 100 students who don't have insurance or whose insurance claims aren't paid. Once immunized, students also are urged to visit surveymonkey.com/r/CFC1516 and vote in the Michigan College and University Flu Vaccine Challenge.

For more information about the Alana's Foundation grant, visit wmich.edu/healthcenter/clinic/grant-flu-shots.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.