Health Services office provides free flu shots

Jacob Peterson
The current shots are available at the Health Services office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The shots are available for free for CRC students, regardless of whether they have insurance.

With fall in full swing and the weather getting colder, the Health Services office is offering flu shots for free to students.

The supplies for the shots are limited, with Campus Nurse Michelle Barkley saying she has reached out to the Allied Health program, which includes the EMT and medical assisting programs, to have more shots available.

“The vaccine I receive is specifically for people in need,” said Barkley. “The benefits are tremendous, as long as there are no contra-indications, you should probably get them.”

Barkley described the flu shot as a sample for the immune system to use to prepare itself for a specific strain of influenza. She recommended students look up the website of the Center of Disease Control for info on the influenza vaccination.

“I highly recommend the shot for those around six months of age, pregnant and the elderly,” said Barkley. “Those are the people who are the most at risk.”

While the vaccination is available for students on campus, 18-year-old agricultural business major Agnes Budge does not plan on getting it. 

“The only real concern I would have would be maybe be about getting sick from it,” said Budge.

A survey for the 2018-2019 flu season by the National Opinion Research Center shows this is a common concern, with 41% of the people surveyed having no intentions to get a flu shot that season. The survey also states that roughly every three out of ten adults surveyed were concerned the shot would make them sick.

“I’ve never really gotten the flu,” said 19-year-old Kinesiology major Josh Wilcox. “I have kind of been conditioned to feel it would make me sick.”

The flu vaccination does not carry the risk of spreading the flu, according to the information from the CDC website regarding questions about t.

“The flu shot is a dead virus,” said CRC Medical Assisting Professor Cori Burns. “You cannot get the flu from a dead virus.”

Burns added that while the shot does temporarily lower your immune system, you are unlikely to catch the flu but another sickness like a cold. If you do get the flu, she said it is likely you were exposed to the virus before getting the shot.

While they are similar viruses, the cold has less severe symptoms than the flu, usually being a runny or stuffy nose. The cold also doesn’t lead to as many serious health problems, such as pneumonia, as the flu, according to the CDC.

“The shot is recommended to decrease the chances of the flu but also to prevent people from transmitting the flu to other people,” said Burns. 

The vaccination uses parts from four different strains of the influenza virus. For the 2019-2020 season the shot is updating components of swine flu, according to the CDC. Burns said flu season typically happens mid-October to March.

“Usually we recommend getting the shot in mid to late October,” Burns said.

The shots are available for students to get from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, in OPS-126. Students are able to get the shots via either walk-in or appointment, with or without insurance.