Authors

Hannah Coburn

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that influenza has resulted in between 9.2 and 35.6 million illnesses and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths annually since 2010 (1). Annual influenza vaccination remains to be the most effective way in controlling the spread and symptom severity of influenza infections (1). Influenza infections are especially virulent on college campuses as a dense population of students interact in close quarters such as shared housing, bathrooms, dining halls, classrooms, and social activities (2). Despite influenza vaccinations being safe, effective, easily accessible to Bryant University students, and free of cost, many students choose not to receive an annual vaccination. A survey and interviews were conducted among Bryant University students to: determine the vaccination rate of students on campus; determine reasons why students did or did not decide to receive this season’s flu vaccination; and analyze how the vaccination rates and decision-making of students affect the overall health of the Bryant University campus. Based on the survey data, only 25.15% of Bryant University students participating in the survey had received a vaccination this year, and only a small fraction of these individuals were vaccinated at the Health Services clinics. This incredibly low vaccination rate among the Bryant University student body has severe consequences for the students, University, healthcare system, and even the surrounding communities. This research discusses the importance of vaccination, impact of influenza on Bryant students’ health, the reasons for the low vaccination rate on campus, and describes potential ways to enhance student participation in on-campus vaccination clinics.

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