Flu shots now available on campus!

It is already time to get a flu shot, and because of COVID, it is especially important to take care that this year, as soon as possible. With COVID-19 being one respiratory illness we have to be vigilantly guard against, having the risk of a second respiratory disease infecting people at the same time presents and even worse scenario. This possibility of two respiratory diseases infecting people either at once or in tandem, affects individuals as well as the collective on campus and all of us at home with our families and loved ones. It also presents, with more people sick from two diseases, the chance that hospitals will be inundated this season.

To help get better control over our health this season for yourself and others, you can schedule your flu shot with Nurse Debbie  (Rosenberger, CSN, RN-BC) in Health Services in the Mabee Student Success Center building on the third floor. She has provided the following information about getting the shot:

Flu shots are now available for $20 – cash or check; while supplies last.

To get the shot, please Email healthservices@umhb.edu with your ID number and date and time at which you would like to have an appointment, and you will receive an email confirmation.  (There are NO appointments between noon-1pm daily.) 

Bring your filled out flu shot consent form and have your funds ready. Again, BRING your completed form and $20 with you to the appointment. 

 Also, be sure to maintain social distancing and wear your mask.  If you are ill – do NOT keep your appointment.

Nurse Debbie will need you to have already filled out and signed a consent form for the shot. You can download it and print it out, and sign and again, be sure to take it with you.  It can be found here.

The flu shot is especially important this year because the COVID virus will still be something any of us can catch, and we have been warned of a second wave of infections. Therefore, we need to be sure we are protected from at least one of these diseases that we can already control with a vaccine.

Nurse Debbie says another reason to get the flu shot this season is that, as the CDC advises points out, it prevents suspicions of COVID from putting more people in quarantine and/or in isolation for 10-14 days, which can be a long time when trying to complete a semester of school. 

Although some people feel that they have flu symptom after taking the shot, that is because the antibodies are working to protect the body from the more serious outbreak. Most people only feel minimal affects from taking the shot. Nurse Debbie stresses that you cannot get the flu from the shot, as it is the strain is INACTIVATED.

If you would like to know more about flu shots and what is known about them, please read the attached form.

And remember to stay as safe as you can and protect against COVID, not only for yourself, but for family and your friends’ families. By now you have heard a lot about masks and washing hands, etc. – please take all that info to heart.

For more information about the flu shot, Nurse Debbie points us to this information provided at www.immunize.org/vis

1. Why get vaccinated?

The influenza vaccine can prevent influenza (flu). Flu is a contagious disease that spreads around the united states every year, usually between October and May. Anyone can get the flu, but it is more dangerous for some people. Infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions or a weakened immune system are at greatest risk of flu complications.

Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications. If you have a medical condition, such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes, flu can make that condition worse.

Flu can cause fever and chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, and runny or stuffy nose. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Each year thousands of people in the United States die from flu, and many more are hospitalized. Flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related visits to the doctor each year.

2. Influenza Vaccine

The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated every flu season. Children six months through eight years of age may need two doses during a single flu season. Everyone else needs only one dose each flu season.

It takes about two weeks for protection to develop after vaccination.

There are many flu viruses, and they are always changing. Each year a new flu vaccine is made to protect against three or four viruses that are likely to cause disease in the upcoming flu season. Even when the vaccine doesn’t exactly match these viruses, it may still provide some protection.

Influenza vaccine does not cause flu.

Influenza vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

3. Talk with your health care provider

Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:

Has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of the influenza vaccine, or has any severe life-threatening allergies, or has ever had Guillain-Barré syndrome (also called GBS).

In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone influenza vaccination to a future visit.

People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting influenza vaccine.

Your health care provider can give you more information.

4. Risks of a vaccine reaction

Soreness, redness, and swelling where shot is given, fever, muscle aches, and headache can happen after influenza vaccine.

There may be a very small increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) after inactivated influenza vaccine (the flu shot).

Young children who get the flu shot along with pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13), and/or DTAP vaccine at the same time might be slightly more likely to have a seizure caused by fever. Tell your health care provider if a child who is getting flu vaccine has ever had a seizure.

People sometimes faint after medical procedures, including vaccination. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.

As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.

5. What if there is a serious problem?

An allergic reaction could occur after the vaccinated person leaves the clinic. If you see signs of a severe allergic reaction (hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, or weakness), call 9-1-1 and get the person to the nearest hospital.

For other signs that concern you, call your health care provider.

Adverse reactions should be reported to the vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS). Your health care provider will usually file this report, or you can do it yourself. Visit the VAERS website at www.vaers.hhs.gov or call 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions, and VAERS staff do not give medical advice.

6. The national vaccine injury compensation program

The national vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines. Visit the VICP website at www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation or call 1-800-338-2382 to learn about the program and about filing a claim. There is a time limit to file a claim for compensation.

7. How can I learn more?

Ask your healthcare provider.

Call your local or state health department.

Contact the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): call 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO)

Author: Cole Garner

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