Make your parents proud by getting the flu shot

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With fall comes cooler weather, bonfires and most importantly, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but it’s also inevitable that you’ll be getting sick. 

Sneezing, coughing and generally feeling horrible is just part of colder temperatures. Instead of getting annoyed looks from your classmates because you’re coughing in the middle of class, try getting the flu shot this year to spare yourself the embarrassment. 

In case you weren’t paying attention in your college biology class, whenever you get the vaccine your body is exposed to the virus, so you create antibodies to fight it off in order to protect yourself later. 

There are different types of the flu virus, but many of the vaccines protect you from three or four common strands. Contrary to what your grandparents say, the flu shot can not give you the flu. That’s because the virus isn’t alive whenever it enters your system. 

Furthermore, you might think it’s better to let nature decide if you get sick or not, but according to the CDC, it’s better to get the shot- especially if you have a chronic illness. Also, some people believe that you don’t need to obtain the vaccine yearly, but it is critical in order to ensure you are protected every year. 

College students are at risk of getting the flu, especially if you’re a freshman. According to Peter Doyle, director of Northeastern University’s health services in Boston, 25% of college freshmen get the flu each year. 

That’s a lot. It’s no surprise to experts though, as many college students live in close contact with each other and share living spaces. Getting a flu shot can help prevent this sickness, and even save you money by not having to load up on cough medicine. 

The flu vaccine is pretty good at what it does, too. The CDC states that the flu vaccine is about 40% to 60% effective, depending on the year and some other factors. You might be scoffing at a 40% effectiveness, but it’s good to have an extra line of defense. Give your immune system a break. 

It’s not like it’s difficult to get the vaccine. You’ve seen the signs and commercials. Every drug store and supermarket have the flu shot available for you. Some people even get it at their local doctor. 

The University Health Center has flu shots available weekdays until 4:30 p.m., and you don’t even need to schedule an appointment. Even if you sometimes have to pay a small fee, it’s better than missing a week of work because you were sick. 

If you’re one of the people that are afraid of shots, no worries. For people who faint at the sight of a needle, there are nasal spray vaccines that work the same as a flu shot, but without the sharp poke and bandage. 

Now that you’re convinced, the time to get the vaccine is now. 

The CDC recommends that you get the vaccine before October ends. Even if you wait longer, it could still help you stay healthy. 

There are no excuses. 

Prioritize your health this fall and get the flu shot. Your body will thank you, and your parents would be proud. Pick up your favorite fall drink from Starbucks and walk on down to the Health Center. 

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