Nursing students take the lead on fighting the flu in #PSUFluFight campaign

October 05, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — University Health Services (UHS) kicked off the annual flu shot clinic series for students Sept. 28 at the HUB-Robeson Center. Clinics will be held through October at locations across the University Park campus.

This year, UHS and the College of Nursing are collaborating on a social media campaign, #PSUFluFight, to spread awareness about flu prevention and encourage students to get vaccinated. After getting their shots, students are encouraged to snap selfies wearing their stickers, tag the post with #PSUFluFight, and challenge three friends to get a flu shot.

That’s the first thing Katie Jedrziewski did after getting her shot at the Oct. 1 clinic at Pollock Commons. Jedrziewski, a senior nursing student, is helping to administer the vaccines as part of the requirement for her Nursing 415 class (Community and Family Health Nursing).

Although nursing students must get the shot to fulfill their clinical compliance requirements, Jedrziewski emphasized that she would have gotten vaccinated anyway — and encouraged her fellow Penn State students to do the same.

“Something we don’t always think about is that we protect others by protecting ourselves,” she said. “Many of us have loved ones with compromised immune systems, like cancer patients or babies who are too young to get vaccinated. We protect them by getting vaccinated ourselves."

Shelley Haffner, infection control manager for UHS, thinks it’s especially important for college students to exercise prevention measures because of their close proximity to one another.

“Students are together all the time — in class, in the dorms, in social situations,” she said. “The flu is highly contagious and spreads like wildfire. For the past three years, we’ve had flu outbreaks during finals week, which is definitely not a good time to have the flu.”

Haffner believes the #PSUFluFight campaign can be an effective way to spread the word about the importance of vaccination.

“At our first clinic on Monday, we had three people come in because they saw a tweet about it,” she said. “People need to come in and challenge their friends to do so.”

Students can make an appointment by going to studentaffairs.psu.edu/health and signing into the myUHS system. Walk-ins are also welcome at all clinics.

To learn more about the flu, visit studentaffairs.psu.edu/health.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 19, 2017