By Thea Gribilas
As Canada approaches flu season, Ryerson community members will have the opportunity to get vaccinated at designated flu clinics located across campus.
Students, staff and faculty can register for a flu shot appointment on the Ryerson website as drop-ins are not available. The Ryerson Medical Centre is also prioritizing high-risk community members, essential workers and students living in campus residence.
According to Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi, the university has been organizing flu clinics since 2009.
“This year is more important than ever to get the flu vaccine,” Lachemi told The Eyeopener, “Although it won’t protect you from COVID-19, it will protect you from the flu [and] will reduce the severity of the illness from the flu.”
“Flu prevention will also help limit patient visits to hospitals during the pandemic,” he said.
On the school’s website, the university advises community members who register to get their flu shot to abide by social distancing rules and wear masks.
“Ryerson is prioritizing your health and safety and will ensure the vaccine will be provided in an environment that follows Toronto Public Health guidelines,” the website states.
When receiving flu shots, Ryerson community members are also expected to bring their provincial health card and their Ryerson OneCard for identification.
According to the site, the university encourages community members who are not working or living on campus to get their flu shot in their own neighbourhood. The flu shot is free with a provincial health card.
Parker Ducharme, a fourth-year creative industries student who lives and works on campus, got his flu shot on campus back in October.
He said he was concerned that the high demand for the flu shot this year would hinder his ability to get it.
“I’m really glad that Ryerson has a flu shot clinic because if they didn’t it would’ve been so much harder to get it at a Rexall or Shoppers,” said Ducharme.
He also mentioned that the environment at the flu clinic was professional, safe and very well organized.
First-year fashion student Gabrielle Vaillancourt said she gets her flu shot every year. Her most recent flu shot was on Nov. 10.
She said she didn’t have concerns about getting her flu shot on campus that she wouldn’t have getting it anywhere else.
“There’s obviously more risk going into a public space where a lot of other people are going for the same reason,” said Vallaincourt. “You’re in contact with a lot more people even if measures are taken to prevent that.”
Vaillancourt noted that her experience living at Daphne Coxwell Complex in residence has made her less concerned.
“I know living in residence [the staff is] super careful about everything,” she said. “So I don’t really have any concerns about getting it on campus more than I would anywhere else.”
She said the flu shot being available on campus not only increased her interest in getting it, but also reminded her it was something she needed to do.
Ryerson mechanical and industrial engineering PhD candidate, Ali Nazari, received his flu shot on Nov. 6—he had never gotten the vaccine until this year.
“With the increasing concern of COVID-19 I think empowering the body is more important than ever,” said Nazari.
After his appointment, Nazari said he was pleased with his experience at the flu clinic.
“It was quick and easy,” said Nazari. “Everything was well organized—I felt safe with no concerns.”
Ryerson has conducted three other flu clinics so far this year on Oct. 27, Nov. 6 and most recently on Nov. 10.
It is not yet known if the flu clinics will be open for any additional dates.