In anticipation of flu season, Dartmouth College Health Service is administering free flu vaccinations through on-campus “Medi Quick” stations — moveable stations offering various health services to students around campus. Students can receive their flu shots at one of these stations on Tuesdays at the Class of 1953 Commons from noon to 1:30 p.m., Dick’s House nurse practitioner Marylee Verdi, who created the Medi Quick program, said. According to the Dartmouth College Health Service website, flu shots are also available at the Dick’s House pharmacy.
According to Health Service flu outreach coordinator Pamela Holbrook, College Health Services has administered over 1,200 flu shots to students and staff. Medi Quick is a Health Service campus outreach program that was created four years ago, and this fall term marks the program’s fifth year, Holbrook wrote in an email statement.
“The objective of Medi Quick is to be available as a health and wellness resource for students to ask questions and to understand about access to health care while at Dartmouth,” Holbrook wrote. She added that the program is staffed mainly by the College Health Service’s primary care department clinical team as well as employees from the Social Wellness Center.
The College Health Service is also planning pop-up flu clinics around campus this fall term in order to offer flu shots to students and staff in different locations, Holbrook wrote. For example, there was a pop-up flu clinic in Novack last week.
“The pop-up clinics and Medi Quick were successful last year, and our goal is to provide plenty of opportunity for everyone who would like a flu shot to get one,” Holbrook wrote, adding that the College Health Service is working with partners to have sufficient space and staff to offer flu shots to the entire campus community.
According to Verdi, Dick’s House has been operating flu vaccinations since her arrival at Dartmouth in 2016. The schedule of administering flu vaccinations used to be three large flu clinics a year, Verdi said, but transitioned to the Medi Quick program in 2017 to more effectively reach students.
“Four years ago, we started Medi Quick with the goal of trying to have health care be more accessible to the students,” Verdi said.
Verdi said she was inspired to create Medi Quick after treating migrant workers, adding that the pop up design of the program made medical treatment more accessible to the Dartmouth student body.
As flu season arrives on campus during this term, students have been lining up to receive shots at these stations. Amelia Evans ’24, who received her flu shot on campus, said she thinks the accessibility of the flu stations has been key in motivating community members to get vaccinated.
“Since it was so convenient, there wasn’t really a reason not to [get the flu vaccination],” Evans said.
Evans said that while she notices that the flu — which she referred to as “the plague” — is continuing to spread among students, she thinks the College is doing what it can to handle flu season.
“I feel like there’s not really much that [the College] can do,” she said. “[But] I think that they have a lot of resources because of [COVID-19] — they’re prepared for students to be sick.”
Rhea Karty ’25, another student who received her flu shot on campus, said she wondered about COVID-19’s potential impact on flu season. She added that she hopes students will be cautious and get tested for COVID-19 regularly.
“I think everybody just has to be tested, and has to be a lot more careful this year,” Karty said.
Verdi said that the pandemic’s mandates — such as masking — have helped impede the spread of the flu this season. If students are worried about flu symptoms, Verdi said that they can call Dick’s House or check the Dick’s House website to schedule a check-up.
According to Holbrook, other community resources to receive a flu shot also include local retail pharmacies such as CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens and Rite-Aid. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center will also be offering community flu clinics on Oct. 16 and Oct. 23 as well as multiple drive-through clinics.
Correction appended (9:27 p.m., Sept. 30, 2021): A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Medi Quick stations have offered flu shots in Class of 1953 Commons and Novack Cafe. The article has been updated to reflect that flu shots at Class of 1953 Commons were offered through the Medi Quick program, while the station at Novack last week was a pop-up clinic unconnected to Medi Quick.
The article has also been updated to include additional information shared by Holbrook in an email statement after publication.