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Flu vaccine arrives at BU

Nov. 15, 2006

20061115_flu
Melea Burke/Lariat staff
With the season in full swing, the McLane Student Life Center is administering a flu vaccine for $20 until Nov. 29.
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By ASHLEY STOCKER
Reporter

Cough drops, tissues and cold medicine become a part of a student's daily life this time every year. With the stress of end-of-the-year projects and tests, many students find that they don't have time to get sick.

Flu season is officially under way and although there have been few cases reported on campus, prevention will be key this season, said Louise Saunders, director of nurses at the Student Health Center.

Influenza, known as the flu, is a virus that commonly carries fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and fatigue as symptoms.

After receiving a shipment of flu vaccines Tuesday, the McLane Student Life Center will begin administering the shots today and will continue to do so until Friday. After Thanksgiving, the SLC will offer the vaccine again on Nov. 28 through Nov. 29.

Vaccine times vary depending on the day. Time information may be found on the health services Web site. Each vaccine costs $20 and will be billed to student accounts. Because the vaccine shipment was late this year, Saunders said they're expecting large crowds at the clinics.

This virus is constantly changing its form, so the vaccines must be continuously updated as well, Saunders said.

Vaccinations for the flu often begin in October and continue into mid-December. The vaccinations take around two weeks to fully begin warding off any viruses, but they last for nearly four months, Saunders said.

The health center highly recommends that students get vaccinated.

"By this time of year, most students are stressed out, not getting enough sleep and not eating right," Saunders said. "So it's very important to take precautions to keep from getting sick."

With such a high demand for vaccines this year, many students have had to go off campus to get their vaccinations.

"My schedule did not fit into any of the clinic times at the SLC, so I had to find another place to get my shot," said Ashleigh Nolen, a senior from Hochiminh City, Vietnam.

Nolen said she was able to get her vaccine from the H.E.B. Grocery Store on Wooded Acres Drive.

"It's very important that I have a flu shot since my family is international, and I'm exposed to so many things while traveling during the Christmas season," Nolen said.

Flu clinics have been available at the H.E.B. on Wooded Acres since the beginning of October. Six clinics have been available so far, and a high number of local residents have received the vaccination, said Becky Bernon, an H.E.B. pharmacist.

"Vaccines cost $25 and are available to anyone," she said.

There are few side effects to the vaccinations being reported; the worst being a sore arm the following day, Saunders said.

"The sore arm is definitely nothing compared to having the flu," Nolen said.