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Letter to the editor: H1N1 vaccine

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Letter to the editor from nurses of Marquette Student Health Service

This letter is in regard to the editorial written in the September 8th Marquette Tribune concerning the seasonal flu vaccine. We very much appreciate the fact that you have brought attention to this issue, as it will hopefully encourage MU students, faculty, and staff to receive their seasonal flu vaccine. However, we would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few misconceptions that were stated in this editorial.

Student Health Service would definitely support the practice of providing influenza vaccines at reduced or no cost. Unfortunately, we are a self-funded institution, and we are like any other independent clinic which needs to cover the costs associated with vaccinations, medical supplies, etc.

With this in mind, we are extremely competitive with other institutions in charging $25 per influenza vaccine. For example, Auora’s Shoo the Flu Clinic cost is $30, and MU Neighborhood Health Clinic cost is $40. As most students are probably already aware, even Walgreens is charging $24.99 per influenza vaccination.

Student Health will also provide an itemized receipt that can be submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement, as most insurance companies are covering the cost of the influenza vaccination.

Also, the H1N1 vaccine will most likely be offered through the health department and subsidized by the government at no cost to you. This will be confirmed come October when the H1N1 vaccine becomes available.

Secondly, the prizes that are being raffled off to those who choose to receive a flu shot have all been DONATED. These wonderful prizes were generously donated by several are businesses and suppliers to actively participate in supporting MU students and wish to encourage any intervention that assists in promoting the students’ health and wellness. One of the most effective and important ways to promote health and wellness is to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu.

Finally, we at Student Health Service have always held the MU students’ health as our absolute top priority. That is why we have greatly increased student opportunities to receive the seasonal flu vaccine this year, including holding after-hours flu clinics in the Alumni Memorial Union, residence halls, in addition to offering the vaccine daily at Student Health.

This plan to be more accessible to the student population was developed due to Student Health Services’ strong desire to vaccinate as many students as possible, in any way possible. We are hopeful and confident that the addition of the donated prizes as incentive will further encourage more students to receive the influenza vaccine.

In closing, we would like to again thank you for bringing this matter of influenza vaccinations to the forefront of people’s minds. Hopefully, this will bring in as many people as possible to receive their flu vaccine and indeed limit the harmful impact on our campus community.

Respectfully,

Nurses of Marquette Student Health Service

Tribune editorial board’s response

We commend Student Health Service for vigorously informing the community and students about the importance of getting vaccinated and offering the shot at a competitive price.  However, we believe that Marquette should subsidize the flu shot so SHS can provide the vaccine at a discounted price. Protecting students against influenza is a serious issue on campus this year.  Campus Ministry is cautioning worshippers to avoid shaking hands during Mass and professors are advising students to stay home at the onset of flu-like symptoms. Clearly, influenza is a serious issue that cannot be ignored. For all the warnings the university has sent regarding the flu epidemic, it should be pouring its resources into more feasible solutions — like subsidized vaccinations — to keep students safe and healthy, rather than simply reminding students to wash their hands.

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