The flu vaccine rush is quickly approaching, and ISU students, faculty and staff are starting to take action to prevent this seasonal sickness.
Student Health Services receives a surplus amount of vaccines every year to be distributed to those who need the extra protection from cold and flu.
“We usually receive our order of flu vaccines sometime in September, though this varies from year to year, depending on supply availability,” Medical Director Jean Swearingen said.
“We usually give between 2,000 to 2,300 flu shots each year to ISU students and faculty.”
Receiving the flu vaccine is not mandatory and does not completely prevent the virus, but it is highly recommended.
“Influenza is a virus that can readily change its form, so it can be difficult to stay ahead of it,” Swearingen said.
“However, the vaccine definitely decreases your chances of catching the flu, even if it doesn’t offer 100 percent protection.”
Swearingen explained that the effectiveness of the flu vaccine varies from year to year. Manufacturers must figure out which flu strains will be distributed during the upcoming flu seasons ahead of time due to the rapid form change of the virus.
“Honestly, [the flu vaccine] helped me feel like I wasn’t going to get sick,” sophomore nursing major Veronica Michels said. “I got the flu shot in the past and I’m going to continue to get it.”
It is suggested to get the flu vaccine in the fall for the most protection, but it can be given in the spring as the flu season fades. There are also other precautions that can be taken throughout the flu season.
“Keep your immune system strong by getting enough rest, eating healthy foods, and staying away from smoking and excessive alcohol or drugs,” Swearingen said.
A cold and the flu may seem like common illnesses but they should always be taken seriously, especially with the rapid weather changes that have been occurring.
Anyone suspected of having the flu should not hesitate to visit a doctor immediately and take the necessary steps to treating the virus.
“If you are ill with the flu, stay away from others, cover your cough and wash your hands frequently,” Swearingen said.
There are many negative stories about the effects of flu vaccines that may prevent people from wanting to get the shot, but there is always a risk with trying any medication or vaccination.
“I would recommend the flu shot because it doesn’t hurt to get and it’s free,” Michels said.
Student Health Services will be providing flu shots soon, as well as other pharmacies around campus.
CVS Pharmacy does not require an appointment for the vaccine and Walgreens is known for providing flu vaccines every year free of charge at participating stores.
To make an appointment at Student Health Services, call (309) 438-2778.