Sneezing season requires students to get flu shot
TNE Editor
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Sneezing season requires students to get flu shot

Published 11/12/15 | Courtesy photo

Atlanta Proctor TNE Writer

Hearing the word ‘shot’ can cause some students to cringe just thinking about vaccinating themselves. However, this season students are going to have to suck it up and get the shot because the influenza virus is here for the fall.

Even though it is not required to get the shot, it is highly encouraged for students and members of the community to get vaccinated against the influenza virus.

“Students should get the vaccine because they live in close proximity to other people and they have the most risk of contracting virus and it spreads so quickly,” said Allison Holt, registered nurse at the Student Health Center. “Say if someone were to live in the dorms and got sick from the flu, it could travel among the students and out into the community.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the time of October through May the flu viruses (yes, there are more than one) are circulating at higher levels in the U.S population. Flu vaccines are made of inactivated strains of the virus and cause antibodies to develop in the body that protect against infection.

“I believe students should get the flu shot because I’ve had a personal experience with the flu and since I’ve gotten the flu shot I’ve been fine every year,” said Rosa Galvan, Fort Smith, Ark. sophomore. “Rumor has it that people get sick after getting the shot, but that’s not true. Your body is just building an immunity and making you stronger to fight the virus.” 
It is encouraged to get the flu shot once every year because the vaccine is constantly changing.

“They manufacture new flu shots every year using flu strains from the previous years so the shots may be different,” said Holt. “There could be thousands of different flu strains, and they remake themselves and evolve so it is important to get to keep up with the vaccine.”

Students interested in getting the shot can go to any Walgreens pharmacy, with insurance the vaccine is free, without insurance it costs a mere $25. The vaccine can also be given at the local Health Department, again free for people with insurance or provided free to low cost per income.

If students are worried they might have the flu already, they can schedule an appointment at the Student Health Center where they can be tested to see if they caught the virus. The Student Heath Center is located right next to the newly building student fitness center. 
“I plan on getting the shot this year because I always got one as a child and the one year that I didn’t get one, I got the flu,” said Taylor Brown, Broken Arrow sophomore. “It’s sort of reassuring because it’s worked for me in the past.”

Holt offered three main tips for best avoiding the flu this season.

“Number one would be to wash your hands, always when you leave the bathroom and even after class students should wash their hands. Number two would be to get the flu shot and number three is you feel even the slightest bit sick, stay home. Don’t go out to where you can expose the virus to others, and if your feeling even the slightest bit under the weather you are more susceptible to actually get sick,” said Holt.

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