CSU Health Network runs out of flu vaccine as national flu season persists

Audrey Weiss

Video by Sunday Miller

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Dr. Jane Higgins. MD from the Colorado State University Health Network opens a syringe. (Collegian file photo)

With news sources bombarding the public with warnings of an especially threatening flu season, Colorado is no exception to the implications.

According to the Colorado Flu Report, Colorado has seen 2,366 hospitalizations, 111 outbreaks and one pediatric death in connection to the flu so far this season.

But, Colorado State University appears to be the outlier to these reports.

According to the CSU Health Network, while there has been an influx in flu cases around the nation, CSU has not seen an unusually high instance of the flu on campus and attributed this to the lack of student presence during winter break. Health services expects to see the flu at its peak in February.

Students also seem to have noticed little influx in this year’s strain.

“I actually don’t know anyone who’s gotten the flu,” said Sarah Waldorf, an undeclared major at CSU. “I think I already got my flu shot at my doctor’s.”

But, students who want to get a flu shot at the CSU Health Network have run into a wall with the supply of influenza vaccinations.

The CSU Health Network announced it has provided 2,000 doses this season–approximately 500 more doses than the previous year. They have run out of their supply, even after having ordered an additional 400 doses to prepare for this flu season, and are asking that students go elsewhere to receive their annual flu shot, according to Dr. Kathleen Waller, the director of Medical Clinical Services, and Sarah Drobek, an immunization nurse, providers who spoke on behalf of the CSU Health Network.

The CSU Health Network suggest students call other pharmacies beforehand to ensure they are in stock.

“I did not know we ran out of vaccinations, and now I’m terrified,” said Michael Cantrell, a Ph. D. student majoring in botany.

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Waller and Drobek wrote in a statement to the Collegian that the student health insurance coverage provided through Anthem can be applied at other pharmacies or providers that accept Anthem, while fees may vary.

Julian Mcguinness, a freshman psychology major at CSU received his flu shot with his roommate who was still diagnosed with the virus.

“He had the flu last week,” Mcguinness said. “He went to the health center…and they got him excused from his classes.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, the public should receive flu shots immediately, if they have not already, and receiving an annual flu shot is the best protection against the flu virus.

Waller and Drobek agreed and wrote that students should also avoid close contact with sick people, wash their hands often with soap and water, clean potentially infected surfaces and avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.

According to Waller and Drobek, students should be wary of these flu symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue.

“The CSU Health Network takes influenza season seriously every year due to the significant toll that getting the flu can have on students and the surrounding community,” Waller and Drobek wrote in a statement to the Collegian. “Feeling terrible for days, mised classes and/or work, and the potential for very serious complications are just a few reasons the health center stresses the importance of the flu vaccination at the start of the flu season in the fall.”

Waller and Dobrek said that the CSU Health Network has ordered more vaccines, but they are unsure when it is expected to arrive.

More information is available on the CSU Health Network website.

Collegian reporter Audrey Weiss can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Audkward.