For the second consecutive year, Wayne State has won the state-wide Flu Vaccination Challenge for medium-sized schools.
The Campus Health Center at WSU runs the flu challenge on behalf of the university and administered thousands of flu vaccines this academic year to young adults across our campus.
CHC held regular walk-in days at their location and dozens of off-site flu clinics across campus in order to increase students’ accessibility to the flu shot.
“We are excited to be the returning champions of the middle size schools. The staff at CHC work closely with various university partners to spread the word about the benefits of prevention to keep our students from getting the flu and other illnesses,” explained Ann Clifton, the Chief Nursing Officer at the Campus Health Center. “I’m proud of the CHC staff, WSU students, and University partners who worked together to truly represent the Wayne State Warriors.”
In an effort to raise influenza vaccination rates among young adults, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services partnered with Alana’s Foundation and 17 Michigan colleges and universities in the second annual Flu Vaccination Challenge.
The Challenge was first implemented in the 2014-2015 flu season as a friendly competition to see which schools could achieve the highest flu vaccination rates on their campuses.
“Winning a state-wide competition that promotes flu vaccination in the young adult demographic is very exciting for us,” said David J. Strauss, the Dean of Students at Wayne State University. “The flu shot keeps our students healthy and able to achieve their educational and personal goals, and being a leader in flu vaccination across Michigan universities and colleges is something everyone at Wayne State can be proud of.”
The announcement comes at the tail end of a relatively late-hitting influenza season, with 40 states, including Michigan, reporting widespread flu activity in mid-March.
Over the last 18 flu seasons (including this season), only three seasons have peaked in March (2015-2016, 2011-2012 and 2005-2006). The 50 pediatric flu-associated deaths that have been reported to date in the U.S. this season are a somber reminder of the danger flu poses to children and adults, alike.
“Vaccination is the single best way to prevent the flu,” said Nick Lyon, director of MDHHS. “I congratulate the winners of this year’s Flu Vaccination Challenge and applaud all of the colleges and universities that partnered with us to raise awareness and vaccination rates on their campuses.”
Last flu season, 44.3 percent of Michigan residents were vaccinated against the flu according to national survey data, below the national average of 47.1 percent. Data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry showed only 10.8 percent of adults aged 18-24 years were vaccinated against the flu in 2014-2015.
The Flu Vaccination Challenge remains an important collaborative effort to increase flu immunization rates among young adults.
Calvin College won for the small-sized schools and Michigan State University for the large. MDHHS and Alana’s Foundation will award the winning schools with Alana Yaksich Memorial traveling trophies during the Flu Advisory Board meeting in May 2016.
It is not too late to get vaccinated this flu season. Please visit CHC to get your late-season flu shot today. For more information about the flu in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/flu.