Chico State prepares for possible ‘twindemic’ with free flu shots


Melvin Bui

Nursing students, Ireland Vallejo (left side) and Katrina Tully (right side) giving out free swag to people who received flu shots on Oct. 14, 2021.

Chico State students can receive a free flu shot and swag at five pop-up clinics over the next two weeks in the Merriam Library breezeway. 

Kimberly Chappell, lead physician of the WellCat Center, said anyone over 6 months of age is encouraged to get the flu shot.

“October is the best month to get vaccinated since flu season generally begins in November and can last through May,” Chappell said. “It typically peaks December through February.”

The WellCat Health Center will be administering free flu shots this month. Students, staff and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of their free flu shots. It will take place at the Meriam Library Breezeway on:

  • Oct. 15 from 1-4 p.m.
  • Oct. 21 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Oct. 22 from 1-4 p.m.
  • Oct. 28 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Oct. 29 from 1-4 p.m.

It’s possible to have influenza and COVID-19 simultaneously since they are two different viruses. Experts are calling this potential phenomenon a “twindemic,” meaning it’s more important than ever to get a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine to prevent another surge. 

Influenza season occurs when the weather gets cold, so the virus is more common in fall and winter months. The most common flu symptoms include: fever, sore-throat, coughing, headaches, fatigue and congestion issues.

The Centers for Disease Control and Protection recommends people who have contracted the flu stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone — except to get medical care or other necessities. The fever should be gone without the need to use a fever-reducing medicine, so if the sickness is still there after a full day it’s time to visit the doctor or medical physician.

There are four different influenza variants: seasonal, pandemic, avian and swine. The vaccine protects against all flu variants. The only people exempt from getting a flu shot are people who have life threatening allergic reactions from the vaccines and infants under 2, according to the CDC.

For Wildcats who would like to get their shot off campus, Enloe Medical Center will have three free flu vaccination clinics this month on:

The Health Center and Enloe aren’t the only locations for flu shots. Students can also go to the Safeway on East Avenue, CVS Pharmacy and Walmart for walk-in services.

Antiviral drugs, which are unrelated to antibiotics, can be used to alleviate the illness but can’t be bought over-the-counter. They can only be acquired with a prescription, so infected individuals should ask their physician for medicine to help with flu symptoms.

“This year, with it co-occurring with COVID,” Chappell said, “it is more important than ever to get vaccinated against influenza since you can get COVID and Influenza at the same time.” 

Melvin Bui can be reached at [email protected] or @Melvinbuii on Twitter.