Photo | Jordan Clark
It is officially flu season. And that means it is time for the seasonal flu vaccine, and it is recommended the shot be administered by the end of October.
In keeping with that recommendation, Arkansas Tech offers flu shot clinics where students and faculty can get their vaccines quickly at no cost.
The clinics for students took place in the Hull Student Union Oct. 7 and Oct. 13. Vaccines will also be available by appointment in the Health and Wellness Center by calling 479-968-0329. Only the shot will be administered by HWC, and not the nasal mist.
Ashley Shrives, nurse practitioner, said, “we are expecting more students to get their flu vaccines this year. We hope to see more students than previous years to prevent serious illness caused by influenza.”
On the first day of the flu clinic, 161 vaccines were administered out of the total 600 available on a first-come, first-served basis.
According to the CDC, all available flu vaccines in the United States this flu season are quadrivalent (four-component) flu vaccines that are designed to protect against the four flu viruses that research indicates are most likely to spread and cause illness among people during the upcoming flu season. The new composition of these is not expected to bring different or more severe side effects.
After getting the vaccine, some side effects should be expected like:
- Soreness, redness, and/or swelling in the injection site.
- Muscle aches
These are all normal and should be expected, according to the CDC. Medical attention should only be required if symptoms such as high fever, behavior changes, difficulty breathing, hives, etc., appear.
Kristy Davis, associate dean for student wellness, said the flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccines can be administered at the same time.
“You can get a flu vaccine and a COVID vaccine at the same visit. Ideally, you should get a flu vaccine by the end of October. If you haven’t gotten your currently recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccine, get one as soon as you can.”
COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna) will also be administered during the flu clinics.
Abby Shelnut, a pre-veterinary major from Benton, said, “I got the flu vaccine because I´ve always gotten it. The first year that I didn’t get it, I got the flu. I got it to protect not only my health but the people around me, too.”
Kyndal Atkinson, a secondary speech education major also from Benton, said she does not get the flu vaccine.
“Growing up, my mom told me that there was no point to get the flu vaccine at school because they have mercury on them so now that I am an adult I have never gotten it, but I have also never gotten the flu, so I do not see the point.”