Flu vaccinations made accessible

By Meghan Hurley
October 21, 2005


There will be approximately 97 million flu vaccines made for the upcoming flu season, according to the American College of Physicians website. Cabrini College will have 150 of those vaccines on hand for students, faculty and staff. Sue Fitzgerald, the college nurse, estimates that around 100 people will come to get vaccinated.

The flu vaccine will be available starting Oct. 17 for priority groups and then Oct. 24 for the general public. The cost for vaccination is $20. Fitzgerald said that the vaccine is offered as a public service to the college. This is not part of any insurance plan, but the paperwork will be available for reimbursements.

Amanda Wanstall, a junior sociology/criminal justice major, says she will be getting the flu vaccine because she “doesn’t want to get the flu.” She said she wouldn’t normally go out and get the vaccine but it’s “easily accessible at the college.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is “a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.” Symptoms include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The CDC also states that between five percent and 20 percent of the population gets the flu each year.

Besides the vaccine, Fitzgerald says the best way to prevent the flu is by “hand washing, hand washing and then washing your hands again” and to “stay home when you are sick.” It is especially important on a college campus where there are so many people all living in one place.

The CDC recommends the same including covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and using a hand sanitizer when soap is not available. Germs can live on doorknobs and computer keyboards in the form of respiratory droplets and is transmitted when someone touches those places and then touches their mouth or nose.

The flu vaccine is not required for all people. According to the CDC, the high-risk priority group who should get vaccinated every year includes people 65 years and older, people who live in nursing homes, women who will be pregnant during the flu season, children 6 to 23 months old and anyone who has constant contact with people who are high-risk.

John Pino, a junior English/secondary education major, is considering getting the flu vaccine now that he knows it is available at Cabrini. It’s seems an easy solution to keep from getting sick so he figures he will, “give it a shot.” He also said he would wait to get the vaccine to give the high-risk groups a chance to get it first. “I would wait because I never needed it in the past, these people need it more than I do,” Pino said.

Also, the CDC states that there are some people who should not be vaccinated. This group includes people who have severe allergies to chicken eggs or who severely reacted to a previous vaccination and children less than 6 months old. Also anyone who is experiencing flu-like symptoms should wait for them to subside before getting the vaccine.

Since there was a vaccine shortage last year, there are predictions that there will an early rush to get the vaccines for the upcoming flu season. About.com advises for people to “also remember that many people are going to remember the problems getting flu shots last year and many doctor’s offices are going to have a hard time getting kids shots in so short a time, so plan early for when your child can get his flu shot.”

Lisa DeFino, a senior elementary education major, won’t be getting a flu vaccine this year because she doesn’t feel at risk, “but maybe when I graduate and become a teacher and are surrounded by young children all day, I will consider getting the vaccine” DeFino said.

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Meghan Hurley

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