This weather is enough to get us down, but there’s no reason the flu should make us feel worse. Each year, the flu season is unpredictable and the length and symptoms will vary, but every year the flu shot is always a controversial topic for discussion.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) website states that, “While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine is designed to protect against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season.”
Like any drug, there are side effects that can occur after each dose. When it comes to the influenza vaccine, there have always been reports of people who got flu like symptoms shortly after their injection.
“I got really sick, like sicker than I’ve ever gotten in my life after getting the flu shot,” says fifth year senior Ashley Zucker. “I haven’t gotten it in years and I have never gotten that sick.”
Zucker is not the only one who has suffered from flu symptoms shortly after receiving their flu shot. There were many people that we interviewed that said they will never get a flu shot because either they, or someone they know, got sick shortly after.
“There are always cases of people getting sick but that is just by coincidence,” says Dr. Mitchell Sransworth. “There are so many different factors that contribute to that outside of the injection.”
The first thing that you need to know about the flu shot is that there are two different vaccines:
The activated vaccine has the live virus in it. In order to get this vaccine, you have to be young and healthy. This version of the flu shot is not very common, but it does target high school and college students. There is a high chance that you will get flu like symptoms after this version of the vaccine.
The inactivated vaccine is the most common flu shot given. It does not contain any of the live virus. After this shot you may feel a low-grade fever but nothing as severe as the full-blown flu.
“It is very important to get a flu shot every year especially in State College, because the flu affects the community,” says Sransworth. “Although college students have healthy immune systems they are also interacting with the elderly and children on a daily basis.”
Whether you have a fear of needles or the fear of getting sick, the flu shot seems to be in your best interest this year. The good news? It’s not too late to get it! You can get this year’s flu shot several ways:
University Health Services 814-863-0774
Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 10 2014 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The cost of the flu shot at UHS is $10 and they charge your Bursar account.
MedExpress (1613 N Atherton Street) 814-238-1066
This is a walk in clinic open seven days a week from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and you do not need to make an appointment. They accept most insurance, but if they do not accept yours the cost would be $30.
Photo by Kyle Biller