Affordable, accessible flu shots offered to students and families


Eric Hang

Director of Clinical Services Tesa Stark believes providing on-campus flu shots will attract both students and their families.

Izzy Andrews, Staff Writer

The flu may seem like a minor annoyance, but it is more dangerous than some people realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized annually due to influenza. Anywhere between 3,000 and 49,000 people are killed.

In order to stay healthy, doctors recommend a yearly flu vaccination. It comes in the form of a shot or a nasal spray, though the spray is not recommended for the upcoming flu season.

The season begins in October or November, peaks between December and February and lasts until as late as May. Since it takes around two weeks for the vaccine to work, it is ideal to get vaccinated as early as possible.

In the Ligums Athletic Building on Oct. 4 from 7 to 9 a.m. and 2:30 to 4 p.m., SJS will be providing flu shots for students and their families for the first time. The vaccines will be offered for $15, much cheaper than pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens or large stores like Target and Walmart, which charge up to $40.The convenient on-campus location and relatively good price are attractive to SJS students and parents alike.

“It’s much easier than going to the doctor and having to make an appointment,” sophomore Lexie Farnell said.

According to Director of Clinical Services Tesa Stark, the school has been aiming to supply flu shots for many years. This year, with two full-time nurses, one nurse practitioner and a medical director, the medical team is large enough to offer more services to students.

“Our individual physical health plays a key role in our community health,” Stark said. “We hope the convenience of offering flu vaccines on our campus will encourage more of our SJS community to take advantage of getting vaccinated for the flu.”

Providing on-campus flu shots has promoted community health and awareness. 

“There’s never a good time to get a flu shot, but having it so close to home and on a specific date encourages me to knock it out rather than putting it off,” Upper School parent Dale Andrews said. “Many people think that the flu shot is unnecessary or even harmful, but the fact that St. John’s is making the effort to provide it lends legitimacy to the importance of the vaccine.”