Staying protected this flu season

Wellness Centre offering flu vaccinations on campus

Many people who don’t get their flu shot don’t realize how they are putting others, as well as themselves, at risk. Some people might be scared of needles, while others do not see the importance of the flu shot. Others may want to understand what they are putting into their body and why before getting vaccinated. Learning about the advantages of the vaccine, possible side effects and vaccination locations can help people to make the decision on whether or not it is right for them.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu vaccine causes antibodies that protect against infection to develop in the body by using a small dose of inactivated viruses that are in the vaccine. This season’s flu shot will protect against influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and influenza B. According to the CDC, it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.

It is important that people get vaccinated every year. The type of flu virus changes from year to year and new vaccines are created. Additionally, the effectiveness of the flu shot wears off. It is not possible to get the flu from a flu shot, since the viruses in the flu shot are killed. After vaccination, some minor side effects such as soreness, redness or swelling where the shot was given, a low-grade fever, and body aches may occur. It is very unlikely for people who received the flu vaccine to have serious complications, reactions or side effects from it.

According to the government of Canada, everyone six months or older should get the flu shot. It can save lives by protecting you, if you are exposed to the virus, and those around you, since you are less likely to spread the virus. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to influenza, which can cause serious complications or fatality in those with compromised or weak immune systems. Caregivers, child-care providers, health-care providers, families as well as those who live in close quarters are at high risk of passing on the flu virus. Seeing as most Mount Allison students spend a lot of time in close proximity with one another, it is strongly suggested that they receive a flu shot.

The Wellness Centre is offering flu vaccinations starting on Oct. 26. Those interested in making an appointment can call Cheryl at the Wellness Centre at 506-364-2163. There are also options off campus, at the Guardian drug store (506-536-2255) and the Jean Coutu pharmacy (506-536-0230) by appointment.

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