By: Jessica Olvera, Assistant Sports Editor
To get a head start towards protecting yourself from the flu, the Student Health Center on campus is now offering flu shots made available to faculty and staff for $15, while students can get vaccinated at no charge.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the overall health impact that influenza has varies from season to season, leading to numerous numbers of skeptics who believe that the vaccine will actually make you sick.
The seasonal flu vaccine serves to protect against influenza viruses that will have more impact in the upcoming season. According to the CDC, it is recommended to receive the flu vaccine as soon as possible because of the antibodies needing an average of two weeks to start protecting your body against viruses.
Dr. Irina Gaal, the chief of medical services at the student health center on campus, mentioned that there is more of a demand for the vaccine this upcoming season, including the number of doses that have been provided to the health center.
Gaal also mentioned that an estimate of 100 doses has already been disrupted out of the 700 that they have received and expect to give them all away throughout the flu season.
“In the past, it sort of fluctuated,” Gaal said. “There’s been a lot of misconceptions about people feeling some side effects that are associated with the flu vaccine and as the medical community has dispensed with some of the pieces of misinformation, the degree of vaccine utilization has really gone up over the years.”
Gaal mentioned that the CDC feels that they have a good match between the components that are included in the current vaccine formulation.
“We believe that the viruses that have been circulating are well matched to what’s in the vaccine,” Gaal said.
Although the flu vaccine is a prominent option to protect yourself from influenza infections, there has been a recent debate about the vaccine making recipients “sicker.”
Gaal used to be one of those people who shared the same opinion but learned her lesson when she experienced how bad the flu could be compared to a cold.
“That’s why we feel that it is so important for people to get the flu vaccine to prevent that,” Gaal said. “It is safe. I give it to my children, myself, we all vaccinate ourselves with it. There is no way to get the flu virus from it.”
If you are interested in receiving your flu vaccination for the season, head over to the Student Health Center to check for availability. Walk-ins are allowed but it is recommended to call and make an appointment ahead of time. They are open Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.