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UHS contracts Maxim Health Systems for seasonal flu shot clinic

On Monday, Nov. 16, Maxim Health Systems, a private healthcare services company specializing in influenza and wellness services, will conduct a seasonal flu shot clinic from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the University of Massachusetts’ Campus Center auditorium.

This is the third clinic Maxim Health Systems has hosted this semester.

“[These clinics] are going to be day-long events. Anyone can just walk in; there’s no appointment necessary,” said University Health Services (UHS) Communication and Marketing Manager Karen Dunbar Scully, regarding the ongoing clinics Maxim Health Systems host throughout the semester.

Dunbar added, “[The clinics] are actually being run by an outside agency that works with UHS, so we’re not physically administering the vaccine. Maxim Health Systems is coming in and doing this as a public service here on campus.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website, the seasonal flu vaccine is appropriate for individuals who want to decrease their chances of contracting the illness. Certain high-risk groups, like health care workers, pregnant women and children ages six months to 19 years, should be vaccinated each year.

While the CDC recommends high-risk individuals also be given the H1N1 vaccine, which began being distributed to medical providers in early October, Dunbar Scully stressed that Maxim Health Systems’ clinic will only be administering seasonal flu vaccines.

“This is purely a seasonal [flu] clinic, but we are doing an H1N1 clinic for high-risk individuals at the Mullins Center,” Dunbar Scully said.

The H1N1 clinic at the Mullins Center will take place on Friday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. According to an e-mail sent out to the campus community by UHS, the University received a limited supply of the H1N1 vaccine, and will only be administering it to CDC-classified “target” and high-risk groups.

UHS conducts their own seasonal flu clinics every Thursday from 1-4 p.m. However, Dunbar Scully notes that Maxim Health System’s walk-in clinics are convenient for those looking to receive a flu shot without scheduling an appointment.

“The clinics are really aimed at people that don’t receive all their primary care at UHS,” Dunbar Scully said.  “Some faculty and staff have their medical care outside campus. The general public, somebody who’s just visiting campus or someone here for a conference can just stop in if they want to get vaccinated.”

Dunbar Scully added, “The cost of the vaccination is $30, but some insurance providers will cover it. [Students] can check the UHS website to see if their provider is listed.”

Kirsten Swenson can be reached at kswenson@student.umass.edu

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