As the temperatures drop and it gets deeper into fall we are starting to enter flu season. Flu season starts in the fall and hits its peak in January or February.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported high rates of hospitalization and death among people between 18 and 64 years old. 60% of the deaths caused by flu have occurred between the ages of 25 and 64. According to flu.gov this is the first year since 2009 that the flu is spreading so widely throughout the U.S. Flu symptoms include a fever, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, headaches, chills, and nausea.
College campuses are filled with people making it an easy target for the flu. “All college students should be aware of the potential dangers of getting the flu and get their flu shot to help prevent any outbreak.” says Meghan Murray, a pharmacy technician for CVS. “There is so much interaction between people on a college campus between classes and extracurricular activities the flu can easily be spread around quickly.” says Murray. “Especially in dorms that have a whole floor of students share a bathroom, students have to be careful” Murray added.
Getting the flu shot reduces the risk of seeing your doctor for flu-like symptoms by about 60%. It is still possible to get sick after getting vaccinated but it reduces the risk a lot and usually does not cost too much.
Right now Marist is not offering the flu shot to students at Health Services. Instead of doing it on campus they have an agreement with the Rite Aid across the street where students can go. Students over the age of 18 with a valid Marist ID can get a flu shot for only ten dollars. Not having the flu shot available on campus has left students with mixed emotions.
“I already got my flu shot the other day.” says Matt Sokoloff, a senior at Marist. “I have been getting my flu shot every year since freshman year and have yet to get sick.” “I go to my doctor at home so not having it available on campus doesn’t impact me but I do think they should have it at Health Services to make it easier for students.”
“Last year I didn’t get a flu shot and I didn’t get the flu but I did get sick and have some symptoms so I am going to get one this year” said Allie Soderholm who is a sophomore at Marist. “I wish Marist would do it at Health Services and think that they should to help prevent the flu from going around campus. I feel that if the shot was available on campus a lot more students would go to get it and even though Rite Aid is not far it will stop students from getting their shot” added Soderholm.
While some students are not impacted by not having a flu shot available on campus some students do not want to have to go through Rite Aid.
Taber Rueter, a senior at Marist College said that if a flu shot was available on campus he would probably get one but since it isn’t he will not get one. “For me it is about convenience and Health Services would be very convenient. Having to go to Rite Aid is not ideal so I will probably just skip getting the flu shot. I think it is good that they do have an agreement with Rite Aid and that it is only ten dollars but it would just be a lot easier for me personally if I could walk to Health Services, get my flu shot and be done with it”.
According to the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center only about 20% of college students get their flu shot as it is so making it less convenient for students will only make it drop. It was even thought of to have flu shots available at sporting events or day-long campaigns at Wake Forest to increase the number of their students getting their shots.
The CDC stated that it is estimated that more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications each year. 200,000 people throughout the U.S. are not astronomical but it is a big group of people to be effected by one infection.
Although Rite Aid is across the street from campus students do not want to deal with having to go there. With Marist not offering the flu shot on campus the percentage of students getting their flu shots is expected to drop.