Campus offers vaccination opportunities

Influenza season is upon us, and as usual, it is picking up speed as we get closer to the winter months.

Scientists estimate this virus kills approximately 36,000 people in the United States each year. Although most of the deaths are from flu related complications, people can prevent them.

Receiving a flu shot is the safest and most effective way to protect yourself from getting the flu.

UNA has offered two clinics so far this semester where the students, faculty and staff received free flu shots. The clinics are in the GUC by the atrium and next to the old bookstore near the mailroom.

The nursing students administer shots that protect from four of the six known strains of the flu.

This injection takes two weeks from the date of the vaccination to fully defend from the virus, and it does not contain a live virus. That being said, contrary to popular belief, the flu vaccine cannot and does not give the flu.

As of Oct. 10, there has not been any pediatric flu-related deaths in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention update these statistics weekly.

There are plenty of places to receive the vaccine during this time of year, including the infirmary on campus at UNA.

Students, faculty and staff can receive the shots for free at UNA, and dependents and spouses can receive them for $20.

If that is not convenient enough, there are several pharmacies such as CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens which also offer shots for those without insurance.

The vaccine protects many people every year from facing several days in bed because of this virus, and it is very much worth receiving.

The next UNA flu clinic will be Nov. 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the GUC. If anyone is considering taking this opportunity, I suggest using this preventative measure instead of being sick later.

More importantly, for anyone who does not enjoy injections, the flu shot does not hurt.