Why College Students Need to Fight the Flu and Get Vaccinated
We are heading into the busiest time of year for college students. Finals are right around the corner, campuses are crowded, students are spending hours studying for exams and adding final touches to projects. Not to mention, they will be heading home soon for the holiday season, spending time with family and hometown friends. It is the perfect storm for flu outbreaks to rise across college campuses, and it’s incredibly important for all students to get vaccinated against the flu.
It is imperative that students do not wait to get the flu vaccine as flu season is already upon us and it takes a couple of weeks to develop full protection after vaccination. The flu vaccine not only helps individuals stay protected, it is the best way to prevent the flu from spreading. And, when you get an annual flu vaccine, you’re less likely to suffer from flu, and you reduce your risk of hospitalization and death.
The flu is a serious (and potentially deadly) disease for anyone, regardless of age or health status, but it is especially dangerous for those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease or cancer.
Students should aim to get the flu vaccine before traveling home for the holidays. The great thing about being on campus is accessibility to the flu vaccine as most college campuses have health clinics that offer the flu vaccine for students. Check your college’s health clinic website or local pharmacy to see when you can schedule your flu vaccine. You may even be able to walk in and get a shot on the spot. Additionally, as you look to schedule your flu vaccine keep in mind you can receive your COVID booster at the same time.
In addition to getting your flu vaccine there are simple ways you can help protect yourself and others on campus:
- Stay home when you are sick: If possible, stay home from class and errands by asking your roommate to drop off food and emailing your professors for class work and recorded lectures. This is the best way to prevent spread on campus.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth: Germs spread fast so help protect yourself and others.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces: There are hundreds of thousands of students on campus going in and out of classrooms and lecture halls every day. Disinfect when you can!
The flu vaccine is an easy way to halt the spread of flu on campus as you prepare for finals you’ve been gearing up for all semester and to keep your family safe as you prepare to head home for the holidays.
Remember, you are never too old to get the flu vaccine! Everyone 6 months and older needs a flu vaccine every year to protect themselves and their loved ones from getting sick with the flu. When you get an annual flu vaccine, you’re less likely to suffer from flu, and you reduce your risk of hospitalization and death. It’s not “just” the flu – it’s a serious, but preventable, disease!
Head to your local health clinic website now to schedule your flu shot. If you need additional help finding a place to get a flu vaccine check out the Vaccine Finder.