Boo to the flu or boo-hoo for you

Story by Colton McCuan, Student Reporter

Flu shots are a controversial topic this time of year, and it’s hard to imagine why. Why wouldn’t people want to give themselves an immunity to one of the most famous and common illnesses that infects millions and hospitalizes an average of 200,000 every year?

The daredevils who opt out of a flu shot every year always have some excuse, and it’s usually a pretty lousy one. “I don’t like shots.” Who does? “I’ve never even gotten the flu before.” Not yet. “The flu’s not that bad.” Yes it is. “Sometimes the shot can give you the flu.” No, it cannot. “But I totally got the flu from the shot one time!” No you didn’t. “But I got Guillain-Barré syndrome once.” OK, that one’s actually a good reason. I could go on, but seriously, we’ve all heard it all before.

Many Henderson students, myself included, decided not to give in to the excuses this year, and joined Tami Arnold and Michelle Champagne, registered nurses with Henderson Student Health Services, for their annual “Boo to the Flu” event at Mooney Hall. The annual event is an opportunity for all Henderson students to get a free flu vaccine.

Those who’ve had the flu know how debilitating it can be. “It was terrible,” said Jahvoni McClendon, undeclared freshmen and football player. “I was in bed all week.”

If you’re freaking out now because you missed the event, don’t worry, SHS may still have some left. “If we have any leftover we’ll do it during regular office hours,” said Champagne. Just make sure you bring your student ID. If they don’t, it’s not the end of the world, the Clark County Health Department will be running a similar event on October 20.

This one will be a drive-through clinic, and will bill insurance providers to cover the costs, unless you don’t have insurance, then it’s free. Even if you miss out on both of these, you can still get a flu shot at almost any clinic and many pharmacies, including Walgreens.

If you don’t have insurance, you’ll have to pay out of pocket, but the cost of the shot is usually only around $30. “This is not a live vaccine,” said Arnold. “It’s dead. You can not get the flu from the flu shot.” It’s really important to stress this point.

Every year people get the shot, get the flu, and think they’re putting two and two together and lo and behold all the medical professionals in the world were wrong, and the flu shot caused the flu. Except that it didn’t.

What does happen is that either before someone receives the shot or within the two weeks it takes the body to develop antibodies you can still become exposed to the virus and come down with a case of the flu, so it’s important to get your flu shot early, before flu season gets in full swing. Anyone who has had the flu will tell you it is not worth getting again. Make sure you get your flu shot today.