Health Services offers vaccines to combat influenza

Flu vaccines are now available at Health Services. The injection costs twelve dollars, and students will be given a receipt to seek reimbursement with their healthcare providers if they wish. Flu vaccines are administered during Health Services regular hours all week. Students are encouraged to come thirty minutes before Health Services closes.

“We do ask that they come at least thirty minutes before we close because students are required to stay at least twenty minutes after the injection. We do that with all of our injections so that, for the rare chance that they could have a reaction to it, we want them to be here so we can treat them,” said Jackie Bevilacqua, RN-BC coordinator of Health Services.

Last year, Health Services administered under 400 flu vaccines. This year, they have ordered the same amount to cover demand for the injection. Health Services will order more vaccines for students if student demand exceeds the amount they have now.

“Last year, we administered four hundred doses, and we used almost all of them. I can get more if we need more,” Bevilacqua said.

The vaccine is available for a limited time. According to Bevilacqua, the vaccine will be given all the way up till winter break and just a short time after winter break is over. Students are encouraged to get their flu shots as soon as possible.

“I am probably going to get it after midterms are over and I am eating a little bit more healthy. A lot of people don’t think they need it but it doesn’t hurt,” said Esteban Rodriguez-Vazquez, a sophomore.

The flu is highly contagious, and students are advised not to go to class if they catch it. People are the most contagious before they see flu symptoms. Those who have a fever are more likely to spread it to other people.  Health Services will provide a note to the student for missed classes if they have the flu.

“Because the flu is highly contagious, we ask students not to go to class until their fever is gone for 24 hours without taking any Tylenol or Ibuprofen. As long as you have a fever you are more likely to  spread it to other people,” Bevilacqua said.

After a student gets the flu shot, it takes two weeks before the vaccinated person builds up immunity.

“It takes about two weeks for the antibodies to develop after the flu shot has been administered. Because we have started seeing flu on campus, we encourage students to come now,” Bevilacqua said.

The amount of flu cases on campus depend on the strain of flu and the year. “It kind of depends on the year. We have had years where we have seen a lot and years that we have seen fewer. We are coming into flu season now and we are sure to have at least some,” Bevilacqua said.

Health Services recommends that students get enough sleep to boost immunity and ward off illness. Students have been taking preventive measures to stay healthy this flu season.

“I am hopefully getting a flu shot this coming weekend and then just also trying to kind of be preventative, trying to get lots of vitamin C and enough sleep. I try to get my flu shot every year, and it really does help,” said Stephanie Simon, a sophomore.