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September 5, 2018

To Meet Growing Flu Shot Demand, Cornell Health Recruits Manpower From Wegmans

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Following the high campus demand for flu shots in the spring that caused a 36-hour shortage of vaccinations, Cornell Health anticipates an even higher demand this fall, according to Anne Jones ’04, director of medical services at Cornell Health.

To strengthen Cornell’s vaccine service to address growing demand, Cornell Health is partnering with Wegmans Pharmacy this fall to provide free flu shots for all current students, staff, faculty, retirees and student spouses who are on the Student Health Plan, as it did in previous years.

To prevent another vaccine shortage, the supply of vaccinations will be continually monitored in relation to demand to ensure that the appropriate quantity of vaccines are ordered, as “it is always a moving target to anticipate how bad the flu will be in a given year,” according to Jones.

Wegmans Pharmacy was selected for partnership after a competitive bidding process was conducted in collaboration with employee Benefit Services, a section of the human resources division that funds employee vaccinations, according to Chris Payne MHA ’97, director of administrative services at Cornell Health.

“Our goal is to make vaccination desired, convenient and a positive experience for as many people as we can, and believe our partnership with Wegmans Pharmacy will allow us to achieve this,” he said.

This newly established partnership will increase the staffing at the vaccine clinics with Wegmans employees, which may reduce the waiting time for those who wish to receive flu shot while maintain the regular level of staffing at Cornell Health, according to Payne.

“In the past, we have staffed our fall flu vaccine clinics with Cornell Health nurses, which has meant we had to decrease our nursing services here at Cornell Health on clinic days,” Payne told The Sun.

“Partnering with Wegmans Pharmacy allows us to do double-duty — to continue providing our full range of care at Cornell Health while having increased flu shot providers at our flu vaccine clinics,” he said.

Also starting this fall, family members over the age of three of the Cornell community are eligible for receiving flu shots at vaccination clinics. Members of the public are also welcomed to get vaccinated at the clinics for a price depending on the individual’s insurance.

Additionally, students under the age of 18 who wish to receive flu shots at the vaccination clinics are required to bring three copies of the parental consent form at the request of Wegmans Pharmacy, but are not required to do so at Cornell Health.

Vaccine clinic hours will continue to provide vaccinations to staff, faculty, and retirees, while  Cornell Health in-clinic appointments will be reserved for students and their partners since Cornell Health serves as their primary care provider.

Two vaccine clinics will be provided on Sept. 11 from 10 to 3 p.m. at Bartels Hall in the hallway by Lynah Rink and on Sept. 13 from 10 to 3 p.m. in the Memorial Room of Willard Straight Hall. Clinic locations later in the semester also include Mann Library, the Lab of Ornithology and Robert Purcell Community Center.