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Michigan colleges try to beat the flu

Sep 6, 2014

Thirteen Michigan colleges and universities are trying to get more students to get flu shots this fall.

Students walking on the U of M campus. How many have had their flu shot?
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Angela Minicuci with the Michigan Department of Community Health says college-age students tend to have extremely low influenza vaccination rates.  

Only about 10% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 got a flu shot last year.

Last year, a female college student in southeast Michigan died of complications from the flu.

“Anytime we see a young otherwise healthy adult passes away from a vaccine preventable disease, such as the flu, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect that population,” says Minicuci.

Minicuci says college campuses are an ideal environment for influenza.

“It’s going to spread very fast,” says Minicuci, “especially when you have large, densely populated areas such as dormitories and even cafeteria.”

Minicuci says the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Kalamazoo College and Hope College are among the state colleges and universities taking part in the campaign to get students vaccinated against the flu this fall. 

She says college health centers have flu vaccine now and are competing with each other to see which school can get the most students vaccinated this fall.