As if “dead week” was terrible enough, “the most wonderful time of the year” sometimes signals another dreaded adversary: the flu.
Though many are aware that flu season is approaching, many students differ on their views about preventing it with the vaccine.
Some are unsure about how necessary it really is.
When surveying students about whether they thought the flu vaccination was effective, many replied to the yes-or-no question with, “I don’t know.”
Lisa Bowman, head of auxiliary services, said the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a flu vaccine as the best method for preventing the flu.
Freshman nursing major Alison Stoner agreed.
“My dad is a doctor, so statistically I know numbers [of flu cases] have dropped [since the vaccine came out]. It is kind of controversial because [the vaccines and the virus] are fighting each other, and they keep having to get stronger.”
According to Bowman, the Student Health Services at ORU offers the flu vaccination to students for $25, and although they have not sold many flu vaccines, they treated about 30 cases of the flu in the 2010- 11 school year.
Generally, students believe the flu vaccination is worth getting, but for college students, it isn’t necessary.
“The flu vaccine is effective, in my experience, but college students or young adults really don’t need it,” said sophomore John Weiand. “Our immune system is at its strongest. It’s better reserved for children and the elderly, as well as other at-risk groups.”
Some may argue that getting a vaccine of any kind when the immune system is weak is not a good idea.
When the vaccine is administered, a weakened form of the virus is injected into the body for the immune system to fight against.
However, sophomore Brooke Carson, who currently is battling six different ailments due to a weak immune system, still decided to receive the flu vaccine.
“I’d rather still have the faith that [the vaccine] will work,” Carson said. “It’s a risk, but it’s just better that I did it.”
The flu vaccine is offered at Student Health Services, located on the first floor of EMR dormitory.
It is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 until 4:30 p.m.
They accept cash, checks, Eagle Bucks, and credit/debit cards, or you can bill it to your student account. Students need to bring their identification to receive the vaccine.
Although there is speculation about the usefulness of a flu vaccine, there are other basic ways to keep from getting sick during the dreaded finals week when students need to be in optimum health.
Students should wash their hands frequently, cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue and avoid close contact with sick people.
Be well and be merry, because no one wants to be sick during finals week, or even worse, during Christmas.