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Viewpoint: The need for flu vaccines

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Viewpoint: The need for flu vaccines

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Chantal Zimmermann, Staff Reporter

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As flu season approaches, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse students are eager to get their flu vaccinations. The Student Health Center recently hosted a flu vaccine clinic in the lobby of the Recreational Eagle Center to help students receive their vaccinations conveniently.

Flu immunization is a highly important preventative measure. This protects not only the individual receiving the vaccination but others that come in contact with them. A simple shot is a better alternative than having a highly contagious flu virus.

“The flu shot delivers inactive strains of the influenza virus; specifically, the strains that are projected to be most prevalent during the upcoming flu season. After the vaccine is administered, the body develops antibodies that will neutralize these viral strains if exposure occurs,” said UWL Interim Administrative Director Christopher Durall.

He continued to explain that the vaccine responds to flu strains by boosting the body’s immune system. Campuses, along with other highly concentrated areas, are more likely to have strains of the flu among its community members.

A common myth that is widely believed is that the flu shot causes the flu. However, according to Durall, it cannot, because the flu shot delivers an inactive influenza virus.

Durall said, “Aside from some mild soreness, redness or swelling about the injection site, serious side effects from the flu shot are quite rare, and usually occur shortly after the injection.” Students should not be afraid of receiving a flu shot, because the alternative is a grueling flu.

According to Durall, if a bad reaction does occur there are effective treatments available. He added, “Also uncommon are low-grade fever, headache and/or muscle aches after the flu vaccine. If these reactions occur, they usually last only 1-2 days. Keep in mind that common side effects of a flu shot are considerably less severe than the symptoms caused by a full-blown flu infection.”

If sick with the flu, common symptoms are an unbearable fever, scratchy sore throat and dreadful aches throughout the muscles and body. All these symptoms can be prevented with a quick and painless flu shot.

During the recent flu vaccine clinic held at UWL, approximately 600 doses were delivered, according to Durall. This is fantastic for all members of the community because the more students who receive the flu shot means that fewer students will be exposed to influenza.

“In addition to protecting the vaccinated individual from the flu infection, fewer community members will be exposed to influenza if more people are vaccinated. For community and campus members with compromised immune systems, a flu infection can be dangerous even life-threatening,” said Durall.

Durall also mentioned that it is beneficial to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible because it takes two to three weeks for sufficient immunity to develop.

As the flu season starts in December, it is important that students get their flu shot now to prevent an unbearable illness when finals occur.

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About the Writer
Chantal Zimmermann, Features Reporter

 

Year at UWL: Junior

Hometown: Racine, WI

Major: English: Emphasis in Writing and Rhetoric

Minor: German and Digital Media...

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