UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | May 26, 2024

Pharmacists stress the importance of flu shots for students

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Flu season has officially begun, which means students need to decide whether or not to get flu shots.

Most students remember going to the doctor’s office every year around this time to get their flu shots, and most hated it.  Now that we’re adults, it’s easy to ignore the posters and television ads  that surface around this time of the year, and go on with our everyday lives, not thinking twice about flu shots.

There’s also the fact that flu shots tend to make you feel sick or overly tired for days after. According an article on healthline.com’s article, “Flu Shot Side Effects,” the shot can also cause headaches, aches and pains, and a fever. With school, work and other responsibilities students have, it’s hard to take time off to recover. 

There is also the problem of how much flu shots can cost. Not everyone has insurance and even those who do often have to pay a co-pay, which can be costly.So what are we poor college students, who struggle to make rent every month, supposed to do?

Although Dixie State University’s Health and Wellness Center doesn’t provide flu shots for students, most pharmacies around St. George offer free flu shots to those who are insured; however, for those who aren’t, the average cost for a flu shot is $40.

It is a misconception to think, “I’m fine; I’m sure I won’t get the flu, and if I do, oh well it’s not worth it to get the shot,” because Caleb Richardson, a St. George pharmacy technician, said flu shots build up your immune system, making it possible for students to be around those who are sick without having to worry as much about getting sick. He also confirmed that flu season is projected to be especially bad this year, and they have already had quite a few people get their shots. 

According to Josh Bloom’s article, “Flu 2017-the good and the bad news,” this flu season is projected to be worse than last year because people are 2.5 times more likely to be infected by this year’s strain of the flu.

Sheb Davie, a pharmacist at Rite Aid, said students who live in dorms are more susceptible to getting sick because of their close proximity to other students who may get sick. Because of this, he highly recommends students living in the dorms to get the flu shot.  

Jessie Pectol, a junior general studies major from St. George, said that she hasn’t gotten a flu shot the last few years despite being on her parent’s insurance plan.

“I have a family that doesn’t really talk about the benefits of getting vaccinations for the flu, so I’ve never really seen the point in them,” Pectol said. “I’m a skeptical human being, so I don’t know if I’m going to get one any time soon.” 

For those students who can’t afford to get a flu shot this year or are skeptical about vaccinations, Davie said it is important to watch out for students that are sick. Keep up on vitamins and eat healthy foods, and make sure to keep your hands washed and your apartment/dorm disinfected on daily basis.