Health Center to Provide Flu Shots

Students can receive seasonal flu vaccinations on Sam Houston State University’s main campus today and tomorrow, courtesy of the Student Health Center.

Vaccines will be available for students from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building plaza.

Junior nursing major Brooke Nell says this is a great opportunity to get the shot without having to leave campus.

“I had to get it done before they started this free thing, so I had do go somewhere else to get it,” she said. “It’s nice that you don’t have to go anywhere, you can just get it on campus.”

Faculty and staff can receive their flu shots Oct. 7-8 from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Lobby.  Students and staff at SHSU-The Woodlands Center can receive their vaccines Oct. 15 from 1-6 p.m. in room 109.

Both students and employees must have their activated Bearkat OneCard present to receive the free vaccination.  The Student Health Center recommends those receiving vaccines wear a shirt that offers easy access to the upper arm.

Supplies are limited and the shots will be available on a first come first serve basis. University employees who do not receive their shots on the designated dates will not be accommodated and are advised to obtain the vaccine through other means.

Flu vaccines allow antibodies to develop in the body approximately two weeks after the vaccination is administered, and these antibodies are what provide protection against the flu virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nell said that while the vaccine helps prevent the recipient from contracting the flu, it’s not 100 percent effective.

“It offers you protection from getting the flu,” she said. “You can still get [the flu], but [the shot] helps. It gives you a better chance of not getting the flu, because you’ve built up those antibodies.”

Nell said that a flu vaccine can actually cause the flu in some cases, and this can motivate people to not obtain the vaccine.

“There is a possibility of you actually contracting the flu from the vaccine,” she said. “It’s very rare, but it is possible because you are injecting a live virus to stimulate the antibodies.”

In spite of that chance, Nell said the pros outweigh the cons and she recommends that people, especially students, receive the vaccine.

Flu season begins in early October and usually lasts until May, with peaks in January or later.

The CDC estimates that between 1976 and 2007, flu-associated deaths have ranged between 3,000 and 49,000 people in the United States alone.  While the CDC states that 90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in people 65 years and older, they recommend everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated every flu season.

The CDC says that children younger than 6 moths should not be vaccinated.  The SHSU Student Heath Center will not administer flu vaccines to women who are pregnant or nursing.

For more information on the Student Health Center’s free vaccination days, contact the Student Health Center health programing coordinator Lisa Clarkson at 936-294-4347.

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