Flu season: Health Center offers shots while supplies last
Published: Monday, November 1, 2010
Updated: Monday, November 1, 2010 15:11
The annual shift into the fall season has brought about a greater risk of illness and allergies to the area. In order to prevent a high influenza risk to the Arkansas State University campus, the Student Health Center is providing flu shots for both seasonal and H1N1 strains to students, faculty and staff for $25.
Shots will be available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. While faculty and staff must pay at the cashier's window and provide a receipt, students may place the charge on their accounts.
According to the Arkansas Heath Department, "All people 6 months of age or older should get flu vaccine."
However, the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) is only recommended for "healthy people 2 through 49 years of age, who are not pregnant, and do not have certain health conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease, asthma, kidney or liver disease, metabolic disease, muscle or nerve disorders or anemia or other blood disorders."
The Health Center will be providing shots while supplies last, but rest assured, they have plenty of vaccine on hand.
"Last year, we gave about 175 flu shots. We do not expect more this year," said Loretta K. Gould.
Gould went on to explain whether anyone will be considered ineligible for the vaccine due to medical reasons.
"There is not anyone who is ineligible; however, if you are currently sick and running a temperature, you would not be able to receive one until you were free of your temp," Gould said.
In regards to the presence of H1N1, or "Swine Flu," Gould said it will not have the scope and degree of danger that it has possessed in previous years.
"H1N1 is still prevalent in this area; however, there is not more of a risk than that of the regular seasonal flu," she said.
With the ever-changing strains of the virus, one must wonder: will the Student Health Center utilize the same strain as last year?
"This is not the same vaccine that was given last year, this year it is a mix for the seasonal flu and H1N1, together in one strain, in one shot," Gould said.
For those who may be concerned about the potential health risks of being vaccinated with a strain of influenza, Gould offered the following.
"A vaccine, like any medicine, could possibly cause serious problems such as allergic reactions, but they are very rare. Mild problems are soreness, redness or swelling where the injection was given, hoarseness, red or itchy eyes, coughing, fever and aches," Gould said. "If these problems do occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and will only last 1-2 days."
While some may think that the $25 price tag for the vaccine is a bit steep, the Student Health Center encourages everyone on campus to take the shot in order to protect themselves in any situation.
"I believe the students, faculty and staff are all at risk. Some tips to follow are: wash your hands thoroughly often, cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing, eat well with fruits and veggies, stay away from others who are sick, do not eat and drink after each other, if you are running a temperature, do not get around others and carry hand sanitizer with you to use throughout the day," Gould said.
Gould further mentioned that student charges can be paid off at a later date and that the Student Health Center will help students to find an establishment that will accept insurance if they wish to pay for the shot in that manner.
For further information on the flu shots, contact the Student Health Center at (870) 972-2131.