It’s flu season.
Stony Brook Medicine announced that the Employee Health and Wellness and the Hospital Emergency Management Team have vaccinated almost 5,700 faculty, staff and students to date on the Long Island campus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that everyone older than six months should get a yearly flu shot in October or November. The CDC is having an influx of people coming to get vaccinated after witnessing 2012’s huge number of flu cases. The CDC also especially stresses the importance for college students to get vaccinated. Living in an institutional setting, everyone is cooped up on a single campus so germs spread fast and wide.
While SBU President Stanley has said that “vaccination is the best way to prevent getting the flu and infecting others,” many disagree. The flu shot has been surrounded by controversy for years, and while Stony Brook Medicine has vaccinated thousands, several people still don’t know what to do.
There is a 20 percent chance that one can get vaccinated and still end up with the flu. There are also the possible side effects of the shot that come from it containing dead viruses; soreness and swelling in your arm and even feeling feverish, chilled, or having a runny nose. Today there is a two-part spray you can choose to take instead of getting the shot, but some say that it is less effective.
Many people believe that they have strong enough immune systems that they should not have to need a shot to prevent them from getting sick. But eating healthy and washing your hands frequently doesn’t mean that you won’t catch the flu. The flu is a contagious virus and can cling onto you if it gets a hold of you. For some people, getting the flu can mean more than a few days in bed–it can mean serious hospitalization.
I got my flu shot the other day at the medical center. I signed in and was asked which type of shot I preferred. I chose the original one because it’s what I am used to; it is injected into your arm muscle and can cause soreness. The newer one just punctures through a layer of skin, so it doesn’t give you muscle soreness but it can create a mosquito bite-like itchy bump on your arm. Sure enough, my arm was throbbing for the rest of the day, but the next day it was normal and I showed no side effects of fever/chills/runny nose. Better to get the vaccination than to risk getting the flu during finals season.