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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

Saint Mary’s promotes vaccinations with Flu Fest

Saint Mary’s held their annual Flu Fest in the Angela Athletic Fieldhouse on Sunday afternoon.

The event encouraged students to receive their flu shots by promoting the importance of a healthy campus environment while also incentivizing students with different prizes and activities.

Students were emailed about the fest in mid-September. The email from Sarah Granger, the director of health and counseling at the College, was titled “Say BOO to the flu.”

“All Saint Mary’s students are encouraged to take part in this event and help keep our campus healthy … because the symptoms for COVID and the flu are so similar, we want to prevent as many cases of the flu as possible, and you can help us achieve this goal,” Granger wrote.

Saint Mary’s nursing students administered the shots at tables set up on the first floor of Angela. Sophomore Madelynn Chestovich explained that she participated in the event because her sister is a Saint Mary’s nursing major.

To pay for the flu vaccination, students could provide the College with their health insurance information or have a $21 charge added to their student account. Registering online and walk-ins were accepted. According Granger’s email, students were encouraged to sign up for the fest with various games, prizes and incentives, including a caramel apple bar.

“If you pre-register and receive your vaccine at the event, you will receive a door prize as a thank you for making our campus as healthy as can be,” the email said. 

The first 375 students to register online received a tall water cup with the Saint Mary’s French cross. There was also an arts and crafts table where students could create dorm door decorations and paint pumpkins. 

Freshman Clarisse Lorin decorated a pumpkin coloring page after getting her flu shot.

“I came to get my flu shot and just have fun with my friends on a Sunday and do all the fun little activities afterwards,” Lorin said.

Those who received their flu vaccination were encouraged to pose in front of a festive, painted tapestry that read “say boo to the flu 2023” surrounded by autumnal flowers, gourds and skeletons.

Molly Schneider, a senior who attended the Flu Fest, said the free cups were an additional benefit to getting vaccinated.

“I get my flu shot every year, so it’s a nice incentive that they have it on campus so you don’t have to drive to any pharmacies or anything,” Schneider said.

For some students, Flu Fest was a good opportunity to support the Saint Mary’s community in preventing a flu outbreak.

“Shots are scary, but they’re a good way to support the community in beating whatever epidemic comes through,” senior Madeleine Winston said.

In addition to providing flu shots, Flu Fest gave students the chance to take a break from studying by participating in the different activities offered at the event.

“I’m glad that we have something fun to do on a Sunday before midterms,” freshman Brooke Cunningham said. “It’s the most fun flu shot I’ve ever gotten.”