Get your flu shot and stop coughing on me

Summer turns to fall as the days get shorter and the nights come sooner. The changing seasons make us more susceptible to illnesses no matter how much precaution we take. Even with proper exercise and nutrition, there is no guarantee that you will not fall victim to the dreaded flu virus, but there is a least a preventative deterrent that can be taken advantage of in an attempt to halt the onset of sickness that will have you out of commission for at least a week.

Doctors, pharmacist and other health care professionals advise we all get vaccinated every year with the new version of the flu vaccine containing that year’s most common influenza strains and helping thwart the contraction of the virus.

Unfortunately, many people have come to formulate their own negative opinions on the flu vaccine with a lack of actual knowledge about how it works.

Vaccinations have long been proven to work and stop diseases from creating a pandemic. For example, smallpox, a viral disease that causes puss filled bumps all over the body and face, was eradicated in the 1970s through a global initiative with the use of vaccines. Today, most people have long forgotten the disease like a fading blemish in the pages of history books.

Similarly, the flu vaccine can not only stop you from becoming ill, but it can protect you from contracting it in the future. The influenza virus constantly mutates and evolves as it spreads from person to person, and many different strains can be present in the population at any given time. The vaccine contains the most common strains as seen in the majority of the population and administered via injection or nasal mist, depending on age.

In addition to your doctor’s office, the vaccine is readily available in neighborhood pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS, as well as big box retailers like Wal-Mart and Target. In fact, Sam Houston State University will be providing free flu shots to all students on a first come first serve basis while supplies last on Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to in the Lowman Student Center Mall all and in front of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences building on campus.

Most of you will brush this off as a nuisance blocking your path and congesting the walkways on campus, but I suggest you take the time to stop and smell the rubbing alcohol and get vaccinated. It may not completely prevent you from falling ill, but it will certainly immunize from the most common sources of the flu.

Do not let your own ignorance fool you into thinking the flu vaccine can either completely cure you of or cause the flu, because it cannot do either, but you would be better off with than without.

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