Help prevent spread of flu on campus

College students are notorious for neglecting doctor’s visits for the simple fact that scheduling doctor’s appointments is a daunting task without Mom around. With flu season already here, the fear of scheduling a doctor’s visit may get in the way of protecting the student body from the influenza virus. Thankfully, University Health Service has made things easy.

University Health Service is hosting flu shot clinics for all students and employees who are 18 or older. No need to call and make an appointment because the doctor is coming to campus.

Flu shots are $10 for students with a valid UK student ID and $20 for employees with ID. University Health Service will also provide flu shots with no out of pocket cost to students who have an ID card for the UK student health insurance plan. Students and employees can pay with PLUS Account money, a credit or debit card, cash or check.

The remaining flu shot clinics will be held Oct. 21 from 5-7 p.m. in the Johnson Center Lobby, Oct. 27 from 4-8 p.m. in the W.T. Young Library Gallery Room and Oct. 29 from 5-9 p.m. in the University Health Service lobby.

All of these clinics are available to students, but should they even get a flu shot? According to many health organizations, including the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health, the answer is a resounding “yes.” The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of six months old get vaccinated when flu season rolls around. And here’s why.

Vaccinations are most successful when the majority of the population gets vaccinated. As the number of people who get vaccinated increases, the opportunity for an outbreak decreases. This concept is called “herd immunity” or “community immunity” and it works by containing the spread of a disease.

So if you consider yourself a healthy person with a strong immune system, do your community a favor and get vaccinated. Not only will you be protected, but according to the CDC, it will also protect people who are more likely to get the flu, specifically older adults, people with chronic illnesses and young children who are not eligible to receive the vaccination. Also, if you do happen to get sick, the vaccination will decrease the severity of your symptoms.

Take advantage of the convenient opportunities to get a flu vaccination on campus. The last thing the college community needs is the flu going around during finals. Plus, once you’ve gotten vaccinated, you can call your mom and tell her what you were able to do it all by yourself — and I’m sure she’ll be very proud.

Julia Mikulec is an English and journalism sophomore.

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