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Prevent T2 is a year long program focusing on lifestyle changes to help with losing weight by eating healthy, exercising, managing stress and staying motivated.  (Photo/Miranda Daniel, mkd14660@uga.edu)

Fall is finally here, and with the arrival of cooler weather and artificially flavored pumpkin beverages there's one thing everyone wants to avoid: the flu.

After the 2017-2018 flu season killed approximately 80,000 Americans — the flu’s highest death toll in at least four decades — the #FluGA Mobile Clinic and other pharmacies are encouraging vaccinations and offering incentives.

“Anyone who does not want to become ill with influenza should consider getting vaccinated,” reads the University Health Center website. “The best way to prevent the flu is to be immune to the viruses.”

While flu shots are available at any regular UHC appointment, the #FluGA Mobile Clinic, which is run by the College of Pharmacy and the UHC, is bringing the vaccine to students, faculty and staff all over campus.

Davelle Pursner, travel clinic manager and infection prevention coordinator at the UHC, said the mobile clinic is entering its sixth year on campus.

Together, Pursner said the UHC and the College of Pharmacy administered 3,693 flu shots in the 2017 season. This year, there has already been a case of the flu on campus. The vaccine for this flu season became available a few weeks ago.

“One person has been identified as being flu positive at UHC since July 1, 2018. Last year, there were less than seven cases identified in the fall months of 2017,” Pursner said.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the 2017-2018 season was the first to be classified as severe in all age groups. Of the 180 children who died from flu (the record high), approximately 80 percent did not receive a flu vaccine that year.

#FLuGA Mobile Clinics will be in the Zell B. Miller Learning Center study rooms 201 and 202 on Oct. 8 from 3-5 p.m. and Oct. 9 from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

The Mobile Clinic will also be at Pharmtoberfest, an annual event celebrating American Pharmacists Month, from 12-3 p.m. on Oct. 18 in RC Wilson Pharmacy on South Campus. Payment can be handled through insurance or is $50 cash for those who are uninsured.

Several pharmacies are offering monetary incentives for their customers to get vaccinated.

CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations within a Target store provide a free $5 Target card with a flu shot.

At regular CVS locations, customers will receive a coupon for $5 off a $25 CVS purchase.

Publix Pharmacy offers a free $10 Publix gift card with a flu shot, no appointment required.