The Heart Beat: Beat the Bug, get your flu shot

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By Curtis Bovee

Staff Writer
The time to get your flu shot has arrived indeed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging everyone older than six months to get vaccinated this season. The vaccine is definitely the best protection against the flu, and getting stuck with a needle certainly out-weighs the possible repercussions.
While the flu doesn’t  normally peak until January, cases have already started to appear, stressing the importance of getting your flu shot sooner rather than later.
If you are afraid of needles, an intradermal shot is available, which utilizes a shorter and thinner needle and only penetrates the skin, not your muscle. The CDC advises that the intradermal needle is only 10 percent the size of a regular needle and is available to people between the ages of 18 to 64. Also, the nasal-spray vaccine is offered to those between the ages of two to 49. However, it is only recommended for people who are already healthy but not for pregnant women.
Don’t worry, getting the flu shot will not give you the flu. According to the CDC, the viruses are inactive, which means they can not cause infection. A side effect is that the flu shot might cause soreness at or around the injection site, which is normal.
In addition to the flu shot, utilize the following preventative actions to combat the flu.

  • Use a tissue when you sneeze and dispose of it after use.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid going to work or school if you have flu-like symptoms as you are more susceptible when your immune system is compromised and you risk spreading these symptoms to others.

Flu shots are available, by appointment, at the student health center and are only $10 for students and $15 for faculty. Call 760-750-4915 to make an appointment.They are also available through local health clinics, doctor’s offices, and pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS.

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California