2 October 2018
Sneezing, coughing, fever, runny nose: these are all symptoms of the flu, and flu season is upon us. Prevention is key to not getting sick, which includes washing your hands, getting enough sleep and, most importantly, getting vaccinated.
Students have free vaccines available to them, such as flu shots, so they should get vaccinated to prevent illness. Getting immunizations should always be a priority of every student, especially when flu season rolls around.
UCCS recently had a Health and Wellness Fair, where students could come and get their flu shots. I’m sure not every student took advantage of this opportunity, but not getting vaccinations doesn’t just affect you, it affects others as well.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits each year. For example, during 2016-2017, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 5.3 million influenza illnesses, 2.6 million influenza-associated medical visits, and 85,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations.
Especially for students, who have the potential to get others sick in either class or various campus activities, getting vaccinated is very important. We all know that being in college means interacting with other students on a daily basis, so the possibility of getting sick increases each day.
Although getting your flu shot does not guarantee that you won’t get the flu, it decreases the chances of it happening. If you do get the flu, you’re less likely to get as sick, or stay sick, than someone who had not gotten the vaccination.
A 2018 study showed that among adults hospitalized with flu, vaccinated patients were 59 percent less likely to be admitted to the ICU than those who had not been vaccinated. Among adults in the ICU with the flu, vaccinated patients, on average, spend four fewer days in the hospital than those who were not vaccinated, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Getting your flu shot is also important because there are people with weakened immune systems, such as women who are pregnant, or someone with cancer, thus, the possibility of them getting the flu is greater than someone with a stronger immune system . Vaccinations do not just benefit the individual who gets them.
According to CDC, getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people and people with certain chronic health conditions.
According to Health.com, Inside many Target locations you’ll find a CVS pharmacy, where you can get a free flu shot and a $5 coupon for Target. You can get a no-cost flu shot at CVS pharmacies too. You can also visit the Wellness Center, which is $15 a visit, and get a flu vaccination there.
Get vaccinated this flu season; you’re not only preventing your chances of getting sick, but you’re also less likely to get others around you sick.