Shortage not expected this sick season
After last year’s distress over lack of flu vaccines at CU, Wardenburg Health Center stocked up and is fully prepared for the sick season ahead.
Prevention of the flu will be much easier this winter because, unlike last year, there will be enough flu shots for all CU students and faculty.
“There are usually always enough vaccines for everyone, only last year wasn’t a normal year,” said Robin Kolble, a nurse at Wardenburg. “There might be a shortage on pediatric vaccines, but college students will be fine.”
Kolble said the reason there weren’t enough vaccines last year was because producing flu vaccines was not very lucrative. She also said there was a problem with the growing of the vaccines, so there was a national shortage.
“The shot contains 3 strains of the virus. It takes 2 to 4 weeks to build your immunity and there might be side effects like a sore arm, runny nose or scratchy throat,” Kolble said. “But they will go away in a day, which is better than being sick for 7 to 10 days.”
Kolble said the flu is easily confused with a cold, but can be identified by the immediate feeling of illness that comes out of the blue. She said the most common symptoms are high fever, muscle aches and headaches.
She said there is only a slight chance someone with the flu will get a runny nose or scratchy throat, which are cold-related symptoms.
Meredith Mertens, a sophomore business major, said she is not going to get the flu shot.
“I won’t get the shot just because I’m not good with needles,” Mertens said. “It’s probably a good idea though. If you saw me getting a shot you’d understand. It’s just better if I get sick.”
Junior communication major Callie Bearman said she saw the importance of getting the flu vaccine.
“I’ll get the shot. I don’t want to get sick, and I can’t afford to miss that much school,” Bearman said.
Kolble said washing your hands for about 15 seconds at a time is one of the best ways to prevent the flu.
“Always wash your hands before and after you eat or pet an animal,” she said. “Studies have shown that washing your hands a minimum of five times a day prevents illness.”
Kolble said people living in the dorms should take extra precaution. She stressed the idea of using hand sanitizer.
Wardenburg is trying a new pilot project and providing hand sanitizer in several buildings on campus to remind students to keep their hands clean, she said..
“If you do get sick, then you need to do what people are calling ‘social distancy,'” Kolble said. “So don’t go into a crowd with lots of people, don’t go to class and stay away from your housemates or you’ll get them sick, too.”
The flu shot will be available to students and staff Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the Student Recreation Center. The shot costs $25 for students and $10 for students with the Golden Buffalo Student Gold Insurance plan.