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Vaccination clinic provides multiple immunizations

March 6, 2008

UW-River Falls hosted a vaccination clinic Feb. 27 in the University Center for students and staff members looking to defend themselves against disease.

The clinic, which visits the University five times each year, offers immunizations for students either free or at reduced cost, according to Alice Reilly-Myklebust, director of Student Health and Counseling.

Immunizations available include hepatitis A and B, meningococcal meningitis, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and tetanus and diphtheria, according to the Student Health Services Web site.

The lower cost of the vaccinations is helpful for those who can’t afford health care at full cost.

“For students who don’t have insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover immunizations, it’s really nice,” Dianne H-Robinson, the nurse administering the shots, said.

The Feb. 27 clinic was not offering flu shots, but those are available at the November clinics.

The most requested vaccines Feb. 27 were hepatitis A and B, according to Reilly-Myklebust. Students traveling over spring break are more conscious of the possibilities of picking up a disease, she said.

Wisconsin does not have any immunization requirements for college students, though health providers and the University strongly recommend students to get the meningococcal vaccine, especially if they are living in the dorms. The state does, however, require residents in the dorms to report whether they have received the meningococcal vaccine along with the date it was received.

Freshman Courtney Schlosser listened to the advice and got her meningitis vaccine at the clinic, though a semester behind schedule.

“I knew I had to get it, but I didn’t realize how soon I needed to get it,” Schlosser said.

The schedule for campus vaccination clinics is available on the Student Health Services Web site.

Students can also find information there about each vaccine.

Both Reilly-Myklebust and H-Robinson advised students to carry an immunization card with them at all times, in case of an emergency where medical personnel would need to know which vaccines a student has had.

Reilly-Myklebust figured that the majority of students felt pressure from their parents to get the vaccines. Parents are aware that the University offers the clinics, as Student Health Services sends information to incoming students before they arrive on campus.

Freshman Jared Kramer lives in the dorms and got his meningococcal vaccine Feb. 27. H got the shot because he was told he had to have it and his mother pressured him into it.

“If the school doesn’t require it, I wouldn’t do it,” Kramer said.