Government urges vaccination for seasonal flu: SHCS offers flu shots for students and faculty/staff

by Amy Salisbury

Photo courtesy of waynejoseph.files.wordpress.com

Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Student Health and Counseling Services, students and CSUSM faculty and staff have the opportunity to receive vaccination against seasonal flu strains.

SHCS do not require an appointment. The shot costs $10 for students and $15 for faculty and staff.

According to flu.gov, “The 2010-2011 flu vaccine protects against an influenza A H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the 2009 H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season.”

The CDC warns against vaccination for those who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs, people who are currently sick with a moderate to severe illness with fever, or those recently diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

In years past, the CDC recommended two different shots for a patient to develop full immunity to seasonal flu viruses. This year, most patients require only one dose of this full-spectrum vaccination. However, the CDC recommends that children aged six months to eight years, who have never received a flu vaccination, get two doses of the flu vaccine spaced four or more weeks apart.

Those in the highest risk category for seasonal flu infection include pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and anyone with long-term health problems.

Although it is not possible to get the flu from a flu shot, there is a slight risk of mild complications after receiving the vaccination. These include, but are not limited to, low-grade fever, soreness or redness at the injection site, and body aches, according to CVS pharmacies. These side effects usually last no longer than one to two days.

To avoid possible side effects associated with vaccinations, select CVS pharmacies offer a nasal spray called FluMist for individuals between two and 49 with no health problems.

The CVS pharmacy across from campus also offers flu vaccinations, but does not offer FluMist. The next dates for vaccinations are Oct. 29 from 1 to 3 p.m. and Nov. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. The pharmacy does not require an appointment.

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California