Drew Community Takes Steps to Combat Flu Season

by Angelia Lobifaro

3 mins read
set of medical protective face masks
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Within the past month, Drew has launched vaccination clinics ahead of flu season to protect the community. Drew’s Health center plans to hold more clinics in upcoming weeks. 

“Flu vaccines are currently available at the Health Service for any student who wants one,” said Drew University’s Director of Health Services Joan Galbraith. She said that if the times of the vaccine clinics on campus are inconvenient for students, they can contact the Health Center and schedule an appointment. 

set of medical protective face masks
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Due to the ongoing pandemic Galbraith stressed the need for receiving a flu shot. “The COVID vaccine doesn’t protect against the flu, and the flu vaccine doesn’t protect against COVID––both vaccines are necessary,” Galbraith said. 

Galbraith also discussed the difficulty of  distinguishing between COVID-19 and the flu given their similar symptoms. “All the more reason to get your flu and COVID vaccines,” she said.

The Drew University Health Center offers testing for both COVID-19 and the flu for concerned students and staff.  

Drew students are doing their best to take precautions to avoid getting sick this season. “I’m in the a capella group on campus, plus I play for the women’s rugby team, so I really can’t afford to get sick and miss practice,” Ellie Poethke (’24) said. 

Galbraith suggested that students engage in various health practices to avoid contracting the flu, such as getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night, drinking plenty of fluids, eating healthy, exercising regularly, washing their hands consistently and avoiding others that are sick. 

“If one of my close friends is sick I would try my best to only hang out with them while outdoors,” Poethke said. 

Galbraith said that if feeling sick, the best safety measure to take is self-isolate and utilize the Health Center’s testing services as soon as possible to determine the sickness. Over-the-counter fever reducing drugs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can also help relieve symptoms if students do fall ill, according to Galbraith. 

Students can call Health Services for a flu vaccination at (973)-408-3414 to make an appointment. 

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