The flu season, usually October to May, has begun. For many, this means getting a flu vaccination.
In the 2017-2018 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that the flu vaccine was 40 percent effective. This means that a person’s overall risk of having to seek medical care was reduced by 40 percent. This is something to keep in mind when thinking about this year’s flu vaccines.
According to the CDC, vaccines are being updated to “better match circulating viruses”. There is also a nasal spray flu vaccine, which is a recommended option for influenza vaccination for people who are not pregnant and over the age of 2 and under the age of 49.
Getting vaccinated for the flu is not the only way to stop the spreading of sickness though, and just because it is u season does not mean that the flu is the only sickness going around. There are other ways to help keep yourself and others healthy.
Megan Sysko, junior and a biology major, has her own ideas and opinions about staying healthy. Sysko said that getting the flu vaccine is a good idea.“You’re basically telling your immune system what it looks like, so if you do get sick you either won’t be as sick or you just won’t get sick at all,” Sysko said.
She did say that if anyone is unable to get the flu vaccine because of allergies or other medical conditions, then the best thing that they can do is get vitamin C to help strengthen their immune system. If anyone does get sick her advice is to get checked on by a medical professional in case they can give out medicine, then take a day off from classes to sleep while also drinking lots of water.
Sarah Storey, assistant professor of biology, said in an email interview that she believes anyone who can get a flu vaccination should. “There are numerous reports showing its effectiveness in not only protecting those who get the vaccination but also those around you,” she said in the email.
Storey said that getting this vaccination can also help those who can’t get a vaccination due to allergies or immunodeficiency. She did say though that if you are not going to get the vaccination, then you should wash your hands and maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. “A large portion of your immune system is located in your digestive tract and by eating a healthy diet...you are providing the immune cells within your digestive system
with the nutrients it needs to thrive,”Storey said.
The Mayo Clinic also gave insights on the flu shot in an article they posted in Sept. 2018. In the article, the clinic said that the flu shot this year is going to protect against three or four different strains of the flu, and it is anyone’s “best shot at avoiding influenzas”. The Mayo Clinic also said that “The flu vaccine is your best defense against the flu, but there are additional steps you can take to help protect yourself from the flu and other viruses.” These steps include washing your hands with soap and water regularly, not touching your eyes or mouth, avoiding crowds when the flu is in your area, and practicing good health habits. These habits include getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, and eating a nutritious diet, and managing stress.
For anyone looking to get the flu vaccine, you can get your own at the following locations according to the CDC. In Charlotte you can get the vaccine at the CVS Pharmacy, Meijer Pharmacy, Walmart Supercenter, and Barry Eaton District Health Department. In Marshall there are vaccines at Rite Aid and the Kmart Pharmacy.There are also vaccines found in Family Fare, Calhoun County Public Health Department, and Young’s Pharmacy in Albion.
At Olivet College, a Flu Shot Clinic will be held Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Room 208 of Mott, the Student Life Office. Those wishing to get a shot are encouraged to register with Student Life beforehand to let them know how many might be taking part in this effort. These shots can be paid for on Nov. 7, or participants may bring their insurance documents. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.