During flu season, students living in close quarters are especially susceptible to the spread of germs and disease. Student Health Services combats this spread by offering influenza vaccines to students.

Yvette Tercero, registered nurse and coordinator of Health Services, revealed in an email interview that the number of flu shots given this year was much higher than in past years.

“The number of flu vaccines administered this year has increased in comparison to last year. Eighty-six percent more flu vaccines have been administered this year in comparison to the number of flu vaccines administered at this same time last year,” Tercero wrote.

Flu shots are not the only precaution students can take in preventing the spread of sickness. There are additional preventative measures that should be taken.

“Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals, managing your stress and washing your hands frequently this flu season. Washing your hands frequently is the number one way to prevent the spread of illness. When hand washing is not possible, using hand sanitizer is helpful. Also, limit your exposure to sick family and friends,” Tercero wrote.

Last year’s flu season was particularly widespread and virulent, but the impact of any season is unknown before it begins. For this reason, Tercero said it is important to be prepared.

“Influenza can be a life-threatening illness, but its virulence varies every year. Although last year was a severe season in the United States, it was less severe in other parts of the world. Doctors can’t say when it will hit or how virulent it will be,” Tercero wrote. “Health Services reserves flu vaccine in advance to ensure we will the vaccine available for our students and staff.”

Health Services could be more convenient than off-campus vaccination centers for underclassmen or those who don’t have transportation. Senior Mia Loseff went to Health Services for her flu shot when she was a first-year.

“I went to Health Services when I was a freshman. It’s very easy, you just go in and ask for a flu shot,” Loseff wrote in an interview.

First-year Elise Brunk got her flu shot this year at Health Services because she does not have transportation off campus and Health Services was more convenient.

“You have to make sure you have time, there could be a wait and they make you stay for 20 minutes afterward to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction,” Brunk said.

First-year Natalee Weis opted to go to a local Walgreen’s to get a flu shot rather than Health Services.

“I went to Walgreen’s instead of Health Services because [at Walgreen’s] the flu shot is free. I drove there and it was about a 10-minute wait. It was very easy,” Weis said.

Health Services is open 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.–5 p.m. on Friday. Flu shots are available from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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