By Will Conerly
Have you received your flu vaccine?
The United States The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual vaccination of anyone older than six months.
Students at Quincy University can get the vaccination on campus at the Student Health and Well-Being clinic.
The CDC reports that the flu vaccine can reduce hospitalization for flu-related complications by 59% in adults 50 years of age and older, by 79% in children, and by 52% in those with chronic lung disease.
“Being in healthcare and being a provider, I 100% recommend everyone get the flu shot, especially in a college environment because it is a very different situation than you guys (students) coming from high school and being at home,” Heather Leindecker said. She is a nurse practitioner at the clinic.
The process will only take five to fifteen minutes when you during the walk-in hours for appointments. Monday anytime from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Tuesday anytime from 8:30 am- 12:30 pm and Thursday anytime from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
QU nursing students encourage flu shots as well.
“I absolutely believe one should get a flu shot, especially in college living in close quarters,” Susie Hubbard said. “Quincy University has a high percentage of athletes as well, and you just can only imagine the potential germs there are in locker rooms.”
It’s not too late to get a shot.
“Especially in October and November when the virus tends to outbreak,” Hubbard said.
A year ago the clinic did not offer walk-in flu shots.
“Last year they offered flu vaccine clinics, but then we had a lot of kids coming here saying ‘hey can I get the flu shot’ and we didn’t have it available. We felt like as the Wellness Center at QU we support everybody getting the flu shot but we weren’t offering it. This year, my request was if you are going to do the flu clinic that is fine. But we need to have flu shots available here as well,” Leindecker said
This year it seems to be working.
“We have given a ton of flu shots already this year,” Leindecker said.
How exactly do you do this? Go to the first floor of Friars Hall, and just walk in.
“You come here, check in with the nurse, she will get some information from you, you actually don’t have to see the provider here, you just see the nurse and she will give you your flu shot and you will be on your way. It is about a 5-15 minute long visit, depending on whether you have been here before or not. A lot of the kids who have come to get a flu shot who have been here before the process is faster, we have all your information on the computer. If you haven’t been here before it takes a little longer because we have to fill information on the computer going forward so that we have it to be able to administer the vaccine,” Leindecker said.
Not everyone is supportive of getting the vaccine, it can be a controversial issue.
“From my personal experience, I love vaccinations but flu shots are hit or miss. In my opinion, there is really no point because you can still get the flu,” Mo Rooney, junior, said.
Others just do not want to go, some are just unaware about vaccinations in general.
“I just don’t feel like going, but I have got it in the past and honestly don’t know whether it truly is helpful or not. I may not get it this year to see what happens because I know many people who haven’t got the shot and didn’t get sick,” Jayme Bertish, freshman, said.
Medical personnel say people have different beliefs about the shot.
“The influenza vaccine is actually very controversial, it always has been. People either believe very strongly in getting a flu shot or very strongly against getting one. The common belief is that sometimes the flu shot people feel like it makes them sick. But what happens in reality is were giving you a vaccine like we are when you guys (students) are all kids and you are growing up and we are giving you all these vaccines to keep you from getting vaccine-preventable diseases that we haven’t seen in 30 years because there have been vaccines out for so long,” Leindecker said.
The reaction to the shot is something that is necessary according to the medical community.
“White blood cells will make a response and will remember the type of injection and that is where the immunity comes from,” Hubbard said. “Yes, your body can feel when it is fighting something like that a little bit different and that may be the disconnect on why people feel think the flu shot makes them sick,” Leindecker said. “The goal is to keep you healthy and from getting influenza because it is a very serious illness.”