Flu shots essential for college students
Published: Saturday, November 5, 2011
Updated: Sunday, November 6, 2011 19:11
UCF Health Services has recently been encouraging our students to get their flu shots, and they are sounding the right note on this issue.
According to a recent report by the Central Florida Future, the UCF Health Center treats approximately 10,700 students per year for colds and the flu.
Catching the flu can mean many basic problems to a student, such as missed classes and a backlog of work that needs to be completed. Being vaccinated against this illness can help prevent students from finding themselves in this situation. The CenterS for Disease Control and Prevention says that getting a flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
One common misconception about the flu vaccine is that it can give you the flu. The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu, according to the CDC, and the most common side effects are a sore arm and possibly a low fever. Being in good health is also not a reason to avoid getting a flu shot. Anyone can get sick from the flu, and the illness can carry serious complications.
The 2011-2012 flu vaccine right now includes three dead/killed/inactivated strains of the influenza virus, A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2) and B/Brisbane/60/2008, according to the CDC's website. The H1N1 virus is one that all students should get vaccinated against.
H1N1 is a strand of influenza that was declared a U.S. Public Health Emergency in 2009. It was no longer an epidemic as of June 23, 2010, it is still viewed as a problem by Megan Pabian, UCF Health Services marketing coordinator.
"H1N1 is still circling. It has not been identified in Florida yet, [but] that's not to say it won't be. When it does come here and it does hit the news, you can guarantee that people will be scrambling to get the shot then," Pabian said. "It's not as prevalent as it was last year, but if students get their flu shot this year, inside the flu shot is an H1N1 booster. It's kind of like two for the price of one."
Protecting against the flu is important to preserving the health of students and stability in our personal lives.
Getting the flu can mean missed classes and work days. Students should vaccinate themselves to help prevent these issues from occurring.