Coughing seems to be the soundtrack of Wittenberg students these days, proving flu season to be in full swing.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu shot as a shield against influenza. Last year, 43 percent of the American population got the shot, which shows a slight increase from previous years.
Students had an opportunity to get the shot for free when a mobile health van visited Wittenberg on Oct. 4 on Alumni Way. Besides free HIV and STD testing, students only had to flash their Witt I.D. to get the vaccination.
Although Freshman Alex Uland says he “does not feel the need” to get the shot, he said the health van was helpful to students.
“It’s a really good idea that they are providing free healthcare to students,” Uland said. He also said that price does have an effect on his decision to get a shot.
According to Wittenberg R.N. Martha P. Carroll, who works in the Health and Wellness Center, there were 50 free shots available Tuesday. Students with asthma or other respiratory conditions had primary access. If there is a greater demand, the center can provide the shot for $20.
The Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD) is holding a flu clinic on Nov. 2 in the Wittenberg Student Union from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shots will be available for $15. The CCCHD will also be holding clinics Oct. 14, 21, and 28, and Nov. 4 and 18 at their location on East Home Road from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Carroll says the CDC creates a “cocktail” every year of the most common influenza viruses that are expected to be prevalent during the season. The flu shot this year protects against H1N1, H3N2, and an influenza B virus.
The vaccine, which is injected into the upper arm, does not cause the flu. It contains a killed virus that is inactive. Minor side effects linked to the shot include fever, aches, or pain at the injection site. These effects only last one to two days. The shot provides protection for one year.
A person should not get the shot if he or she has had an allergic reaction to the shot before or a fever in the past two days. Also, people with egg allergies should refrain from the shot, since the virus is grown in eggs.
Many pharmacies in Springfield, like Kroger, Meijer, and Madison Avenue Pharmacy, are also offering flu shots for around $25, and no appointments are necessary.
More information about the flu shot can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/.
(Kelsie Evelsizor / firstname.lastname@example.org)