Ready for Students to Stick It

Morgan Harding, Print Editor

Students are forgoing flu shots so far this season, according to student health center officials.

Anita Yurek, RN and staff nurse at the Student Health Center, was surprised by how few students have taken advantage of the $10 vaccinations. The health center has had the shots in stock since early in the semester, but only a handful of students have stopped in to get one.

“We sell the vaccinations at cost to the university. It’s not like we make money on giving people the flu shot. We pay $10 for the vaccinations.  We sell them for $10 a vaccination,” she said.

Junior communications major  Brittany Lovette said she was not aware that the health center  had the vaccines available and went a local CVS to receive hers.  She walked away when the pharmacy attempted to charge her $35.

Lovette caught the virus last year, and she said she does not want to suffer again.

“I really want to get a flu shot because I never want to be that sick again. Last year was awful. I would hate to deal with that again,” Lovette said.
Lovette plans to make a trip to her hometown of Berwick to get the shot from her family physician.

Junior nursing major Tamara Bradley received her vaccination over fall break so she could be in contact with patients at the Giesinger Medical Center in Danville where she serves as a nurse’s aid.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.

The flu vaccination is the best way to avoid illness.

The 2012 vaccine protects against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season, including influenzaH1N1 virus, influenza H3N2 virus and influenza B virus.

Bradley recently learned how to give shots and vaccinated elderly residents at the Mercy Center in early October.

“It’s important for elderly people to get vaccinated because they have a suppressed immune system. Giving them the shot provided me with guided experience and supervision. I feel well prepared for the next time I need to give someone a shot,” said Bradley.

Bradley feels that it’s equally important for students to get vaccinated because they live in close quarters with other students and come into contact with many people every day.

“When I get sick I stay on campus, which puts those around me at risk for getting whatever I am sick with. Getting vaccinated greatly decreases that risk for my roommates and classmates,” Bradley said.

Yurek agrees and thinks everyone should make an effort to get vaccinated, especially those who live in areas like dormitories.
Junior speech language pathology major Hilary Hoover has yet to get a flu shot because she is too busy to leave campus and did not know that the health center is offering them.

“Working as a resident assistant, volunteering and doing observation hours is time-consuming. Had I known that the health center was giving flu shots I would have gotten one. I may still go get one now that I have been made aware,” said Hoover.

Influenza can occur at any time but is most likely from Oct. to May.  Receiving the flu shot later in the fall is still effective because in recent years, the flu has been most prominent in Jan. and Feb.

Vaccinations are low doses of live viruses. Common side effects include soreness, hoarseness, fever, aches, headaches, itching and fatigue. If these problems occur, they will most likely end in one or two days.

Yurek is prepared to give a flu shot to any student who stops in the health center and requests a vaccination until Thanksgiving break.

Hoover feels that the health center did a poor job publicizing the flu shots and had staffers done a better job of spreading the word, more students would have already gotten them.

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