Concordia Health Services holds pop-up HPV vaccination clinic

The clinic is one of many initiatives on health promotion at Concordia

Concordia’s health services inform students about health myths at the EV building. Photo Maria Cholakova

On Oct. 4, Concordia Health Services held a pop-up human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination clinic in the atrium of the EV Complex. The clinic was held from 12-4 p.m. and it offered the Gardasil HPV vaccine as well as help scheduling Pap tests and free condoms for students.

Gaby Szabo, a registered nurse and health promotion specialist with Concordia Health Services, was one of the pop-up clinic’s coordinators. She told The Link this was the first of two pop-up Gardasil clinics that would be held throughout the semester, with the next one scheduled for Nov. 28.

According to Szabo, HPV vaccines are in high demand at Health Services. “My impression is that, even though it’s part of the Canadian schedule, many people didn’t get it,” Szabo said. “Either they weren’t at school that day, or their parents were not comfortable, and now, as adults, they want to make a decision for themselves.”

Arindam Mor, a student who attended the clinic and received a Gardasil dose, gave a different perspective. “I had no plans of taking it,” he said, “but then, because of the information booth, I decided to […] Otherwise, I wouldn’t have.” According to Mor, he hadn’t received the vaccine earlier because of a lack of information.

“I wasn’t very well-versed about [HPV], so I never bothered to [get vaccinated],” Mor said.

Students being informed about the importance of vaccines is a main focus for the nurses at Health Services. Kim Crosbie, one of the nurses who administered vaccines during the clinic, said that one of the big reasons behind doing pop-ups is health promotion. “This one is only for Gardasil,” she said, “but it does open the door to discuss other vaccinations.”

According to Szabo, Concordia Health Services will offer free flu vaccinations for students starting in mid-November, as well as a pop-up STI testing clinic on Nov. 25. Concordia Health Services is located on the second floor of the GM building—room 200—and is open for walk-in appointments.