Opinion: Flu shots are extra important this year

Moises+Lopez+of+Los+Angeles+receives+a+flu+shot+from+Jessica+Zhou+of+USC+as+people+receive+free+flu+shots+during+a+walk+up+and+drive+thru+clinic+in+Los+Angeles+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+10%2C+2020.+%28Keith+Birmingham%2FThe+Orange+County+Register+via+AP%29

Moises Lopez of Los Angeles receives a flu shot from Jessica Zhou of USC as people receive free flu shots during a walk up and drive thru clinic in Los Angeles on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (Keith Birmingham/The Orange County Register via AP)

Amie Cardinal, Student Health Services Nurse

Being on a college campus can increase your chances of getting sick during this cold and flu season. Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days. One big way to protect yourself is by getting the flu shot. To clear up a common myth, the flu shot CANNOT cause the flu because there is no live virus in the vaccine!

Why get the flu shot?

  • It can keep you from getting the flu.
  • It can make the flu less severe if you do get it.
  • It can help you from spreading the flu to your friends, family and campus community.

Why is it extra important to get the flu vaccine this year during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • This can help decrease the burden on the healthcare systems, which are already overwhelmed with COVID-19. By preventing the flu, healthcare resources can be saved for the care of COVID-19 patients.
  • Getting the flu vaccine can help keep yourself and the community healthy, which strengthens our immune system and helps fight other illnesses that are out there, such as COVID-19. This is especially important for the vulnerable people in our community who are at a higher risk for hospitalization and death associated with flu and COVID-19. These vulnerable people include our older loved ones, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions.
  • Flu and COVID-19 share many of the same symptoms, therefore, it may be difficult to tell the difference between the two illnesses just based on symptoms. These symptoms will likely require a medical visit and testing for both the flu and COVID-19. Getting the flu shot can prevent this medical visit, testing, incurred costs, and anxiety that could be associated with all of this.

 

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine available yet for COVID-19, but we are fortunate to have one for the flu. Please do your part, get vaccinated and help keep our community healthy and safe!

Flu shots will be available in the St. Charles Room in the Danna Center from 10am-2pm on Thursday, Oct. 15; Monday, Oct. 19; and Thursday, Oct. 22. An insurance card is required.