Quick: think about your last flu shot. Did you get it when you were in grade school because your parents made you?  Or was it a required part of participating in athletics in high school?  You probably only got it because someone, somehow, made you do it…  Am I right?  Well did you know that you should actually be getting a flu shot once a year?  I didn’t know that—and I’m a public health major (don’t tell my professors…)!  Carolyn, the Grad Assistant here at the Wellness Center, and I both got our flu shots today.  Here’s proof and a shot of the shirts you can get if you’re one of the first 200 people to get the shot!

See the picture at the bottom for details on when and where to get your vaccine on campus.  It doesn’t take more than a few minutes and doesn’t hurt more than a pinch.  If I could get it, and you could get it when you were in elementary school, you can get it now!  For your information:

  •  The first 200 people to get their shot will also get a free t-shirt. They’re super comfy, so don’t miss out on your chance!
  • The shot you will be given is a dead version of the influenza virus.  The strain that goes around every year changes and mutates, which is why you should renew your vaccination every year, especially if you get sick easily or live with someone who does, like those with a suppressed immune system, older adults, or children.  Remember, the flu is a contagious disease!
  • Now’s the best time to get the shot!  The most cases of the flu occur between October and May of the following year, but the peak occurs between January and February.  Since it takes 2 weeks for protection to develop from the vaccine, it’s best to get it early.
  • You should still get it even if you “never” get sick!  You can still spread the flu and many other illnesses through touching things like doorknobs, tables, toilet handles, etc., even if you don’t contract it yourself.  Do you want to get other people sick?  I don’t think so!
  • If you get sick after getting your shot, it’s likely not because of it.  Most of the time, people who get sick after getting the flu shot have something else!  The symptoms you get when you have the flu are very similar to a handful of other illnesses and can often be mistaken for the flu.  If you are seriously ill after getting the shot, it would still be a good idea to see your doctor so he or she can treat you for whatever it is you do have.

For more information, go to wcupa.edu/health or call 610-436-2509 to make an appointment for your flu shot if you can’t make it to any of the clinics.

Written by April Pagliassotti, Peer Educator