College’s clinics are taking pandemic precautions through online booking starting next month
By: Sydney Lockhart
Flu vaccine clinics will be held at a number of Red River College campuses this year.
RRC annually has a drop-in flu shot clinic, but this year it is switching to appointments only to keep the number of people at the clinics to a minimum and be able to contact trace.
Last year approximately 2,800 people were vaccinated at RRC flu clinics. Registered Nurse Kelli Kingston said she is expecting their clinic to have much higher numbers this year due to the pandemic.
“Health care providers are worried about people being infected by both influenza and COVID which could be extremely dangerous,” she said.
The clinics will be held at the Notre Dame Campus in the south gym on Nov. 5 and Nov. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Clinics will also be held at Paterson Global Foods Institute in room 306 on Nov. 25 and 26 from 12:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
In order to receive the flu shot on campus students and staff must book an appointment online at https://www.rrc.ca/health/.
“I would encourage people to look at the resources that are available on the shot but only reputable sources,” said Kingston. “People should go to Manitoba Health, the Public Health Agency of Canada, The Canadian Immunization Guide and the WHO for their information.”
The deadline to make appointments for the NDC campus clinic is Oct. 31, and Nov. 21 at PGI.
“People will be able to contact health services and book an appointment if they are unable to make the clinics,” said Kingston.
Anyone entering RRC campuses during the pandemic must also self-screen.
Nineteen-year-old Business Admin student Brooklyn Losics said she has yet to decide if she will get the flu shot this year but is leaning towards getting it.
“I’ve never thought about having a choice about it before because I’ve only been an adult for a little bit,” she said, “I talked to a few of my friends and they have all been getting it.”
Losics added she wishes RRC would have posted information on social media because she was unaware of the clinics.
The flu shot is only mandatory for students enrolled in health care programs.
Kingston says nursing students help out at the flu clinics and use them as an opportunity to get experience in their field, the extra hands also mean clinics can vaccinate more people.
“The flu vaccination and vaccinations in general are overwhelmingly safe. It’s not a new vaccine, the first vaccine came out in the 1960s and it’s been around for quite some time,” she said.
“I hope people consider it a very important part of their health because it has a lot of benefits in terms of protecting you. Influenza kills a lot of people every year,” said Kingston.