Health Center offering flu shots ahead of flu season

Riley Guerzini, News Editor

To help ward off the inevitable attack from the influenza virus this year, the University Health Center is offering flu shots to students and employees.

The shots are $20 and the money can be billed to any insurance provider. For students in the Office Visit Plan (OVP) and employees on the Anthem Medical Plan, the shot is free.

The Health Center is offering flu shots to students and employees for $20.

The Health Center is located in room 0091 in the lower level of the Health Professions Center on the north side of campus. Medical Office Assistant Jessi LeGate said the Health Center has three nurses that work during their hours on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and patients can receive the vaccine with no appointment necessary.

LeGate said receiving the shot can take anywhere from 10-25 minutes depending on how busy they are.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it takes about two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies to develop in the body to protect against the flu.

Influenza, commonly called the flu, is “a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs,” according to the CDC. “It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.”

Symptoms of the flu include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue.

University Communications sent out an email Monday morning with CDC recommended guidelines for how to help prevent the spread of germs and viruses.

These recommendations include washing hands frequently and correctly, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs.

LeGate said this time of the year is usually the busiest for the Health Center, but normally because of physicals instead of flu shots.

According to information gathered by the CDC, the most common months for peak flu activity is between December and March with February being the top month 14 times from 1982 to 2016.

“For anybody who is sick and needs to receive treatment after hours, there is a Deaconess Clinic located behind Chuckles that is open until 8 p.m.,” Health Center Practice Manager Brandy Sitzman said.