Vaccine Clinic Resurges After Ian

Dara Rosen, Contributing Writer

Despite Hurricane Ian disrupting vaccine clinics, FGCU is still committed to making vaccines accessible to their students, faculty and staff.

A vaccine clinic scheduled for Sept. 29 was canceled due to the impact of Hurricane Ian on Southwest Florida. According to FGCU Student Health Educator Kristin Phillipine, approximately 150 people had signed up to take part in the clinic.

FGCU junior Julia Murphy had signed up to get her flu shot at the Sept. 29 vaccine clinic in preparation for her upcoming vacation.

“I wanted to get my flu shot because I had a vacation planned for the beginning of Oct., so I was really upset when the clinic had to be canceled,” Murphy said. “Evidently I got the flu on Oct. 19 while I was on vacation.”

Murphy chose not to get her flu shot last year and regretted that decision when she got sick.

“I wound up having the flu pretty bad last year, so I was really excited to get it this year and be ahead of this flu season, but obviously that didn’t happen and, of course, I wound up getting the flu again,” Murphy said.

The vaccine clinic was originally scheduled for two dates, Sept. 29 and Oct. 27. After the initial clinic had to be canceled. Anyone who had already signed up was offered the option of attending the Oct. 27 clinic, or getting their vaccine at a different pharmacy. 

Anyone who received a primary dose or booster dose of the COVID vaccine at the clinic was eligible to receive a $50 gift card.

Those who chose to get their vaccine at a different pharmacy, after the cancellation of the initial clinic date, were still eligible for the $50 incentive if they could provide valid proof of receiving a vaccine.

Valid proof will be accepted in the form of a vaccine card, pharmacy paperwork or through “Florida Shots” vaccine history, which Publix pharmacists have access to. Valid proof must be submitted to Cherise Schmitt, director of Student Health Services at FGCU, to receive the gift card.

The vaccine clinic was open to all students, faculty and staff at FGCU. The clinic was offering free flu shots, first or second doses of the COVID vaccine, or the COVID booster shot. Held in the Cohen Center, Publix pharmacists were administering vaccines from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Oct. 27. Pre-registration was required to attend the vaccine clinic and a completed Publix immunization consent form had to be sent to Phillipine prior to the clinic date. These forms ensured that Publix pharmacists were prepared to give out the correct vaccines and help to expedite the process during the clinic.

“It’s an essential part of my nursing duties to continuously offer the FGCU community convenient and preventative healthcare during challenging times,” Phillipine said.

FGCU has given out vaccine incentives in the past and is adamant on its “Protect The Nest” stance. According to FGCU’s website, “Full vaccination against the COVID-19 virus is the best way for students, faculty and staff to stay healthy and avoid missing class, work, athletic events and on-campus social activities.”

Vaccine resources and FAQs can be found on FGCU’s website at