UCF Health Services and the College of Nursing will team up to provide a flu vaccination clinic for students Oct. 2 as part of the Healthy Knights Expo in the Pegasus Ballroom from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This is the second year a mass vaccination for seasonal influenza has been held at UCF, and has proven successful in vaccinating a large number of students at one time. Last year, about 500 vaccinations were given at the Healthy Knights Expo. The goal is to surpass that number this year.

“The College of Nursing has had a collaborative relationship with the Health Center for many years,” said Mary Lou Sole, interim dean of the College of Nursing. “This activity is one additional way for maintaining that collaboration and partnership.”

The two groups hope that students get the message that vaccination is the best way to prevent catching the flu.

“We hope to heighten the awareness about the benefits of flu vaccination, and to debunk many of the myths that surround it,” said Dr. Michael Deichen, director of UCF Health Services. “We want to see every student get vaccinated, and events like this make it easy to do so.”

The challenge to vaccinating so many students was finding enough nursing staff to handle the volume of students wanting flu shots that day. The College of Nursing accepted the challenge. Sole will be volunteering her time by assisting in administering shots along with several senior members of the College of Nursing and some students already licensed as registered nurses.

“Nurses focus on prevention as well as caring for those that are ill,” said Sole. “This is a great opportunity to emphasize prevention with college students who may not believe they need to be immunized.  Focusing on flu prevention helps to maintain a healthy campus.”

The Healthy Knights Expo gives students the opportunity to learn about the wide variety of services available at UCF and in the community to assist in living a healthy life. Topics such as healthy eating, physical activity, sleep health, mental health, and more will be addressed at the event. There will be food, games and prizes, as well as the chance to have a photo taken with Knightro.

For students wanting a flu shot at the event, bring your student ID and you must not be currently sick. After the Expo, flu shots will be available at walk-in clinics inside the Health Center. Check www.hs.ucf.edu for walk-in clinic hours and special flu clinics that will be traveling around campus. Shots are free for students while supplies last.  Starting in mid-October, faculty and staff can make flu shot appointments at the Health Center by calling 407-823-3850 and either pay $20 or charge it to their health insurance.

“Our top priority is our students,” said Deichen. “Keeping them healthy so that they can succeed is what we do.”