Health Center offers free flu vaccinations

The University Health Center began offering SHSU students free flu vaccinations on Oct. 1.Keith Lott, director of the Health Center, said the UHC offers the flu shots annually at the beginning of the flu season.”The purpose is to help the students avoid getting the flu and missing any classes or extracurricular activities they may be involved in,” he saidThe UHC provides the shot on Monday through Friday this week, from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. through 4:30 p.m. Oct. 11 will be the last day the shot is administered, pending how long the supplies last.No appointment is necessary, but access to the vaccine is limited to a first come, first serve basis. Lott said that as of now, there has only been a small amount of students coming in despite publicity.”Right now, we’re not having a rush yet,” said Lott. “It’s the very beginning of the flu season, and people aren’t thinking about that yet.”Senior Courtney Herron said it was good the university offered the shot, but wished that more shots were available.”I think it’s good, because the students who are the most interested in will be able to receive it,” said Herron. “But it’s unfortunate that not everyone who wants it will be able to receive it.”Junior Shedrick Mask liked the convenience of having the flu shot on campus, but also felt it would be better if more shots were available.”It makes it a lot easier to do than finding a clinic to get the shot,” said Mask. “A flu shot is pretty much needed, since everyone is walking around here looking sick.”The shot being offered by the UHC to combat the flu is called Fluzone. Lott said that contrary to popular belief, the vaccine does not make the recipient sick or suffer from the flu.Sophomore Jennifer Royer said that she appreciates the university providing students with the shot.”I think it’s a good idea,” said Royer. “It’s better than me having to go home and have my mother spend money.””It’s good to keep people from getting sick, because there are so many diseases running around this campus,” she said.Lott said the Health Center has been offering the vaccine for years, and that each time, the shot it is completely used.”Each year the supply is exhausted,” said Lott. “We’d like to expend the supply at the beginning of the flu season to prevent an epidemic or reduce the rate of infection.”The vaccine should last throughout the current flu season, which Lott and the UHC staff anticipate will be until next spring. Lott added that despite vaccination, people cannot become immune to the flu, and must receive the vaccine annually in order to avoid infection.The Fluzone vaccine is available at the UHC at 1528 Ave. J. For more information about the shot, call 294-1805.

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