GC offers flu shots on campus

Kristen Maddox | Staff Writer | Oct. 30, 2019

Senior nursing students are combating increases in flu activity on campus by vaccinating fellow students. 

Junior and senior nursing students help during flu season every year. This season, fourth-semester nursing seniors are helping to distribute the flu shot to students. Around 160 vaccines have been administered by mid-October.

Any nursing student that has completed injection training is eligible to vaccinate fellow students. As an incentive, volunteers who signed up to help received clinical hours for participating, according to Josie Doss, associate professor of nursing.

Reilly Shallenberger shows off her band-aid after receiving her flu shot on October 28
Lila Schell | Staff Photographer

In the past, it has been mandatory for some nursing students to help with flu vaccines. Due to the number of nursing students at GC, one class is often responsible for tackling flu vaccines.

The CDC said flu viruses, while present year-round, increase in October. Flu activity can last into May, and typically peaks between December and February. 

The flu vaccine available to students is not a live virus and cannot give you the flu, said Britt McRae, director of student health services.

“Students should be vaccinated because of their closeness to others,” McRae said. “Students are in class and at social events that put them in contact with others in close quarters.”

This puts students at risk for more illnesses than the flu, McRae said. Getting the flu vaccine can help in prevention and aid in recovery as your symptoms could be minimized by the vaccine. 

Injection site soreness, aches and feeling run down could result from the flu shot, McRae said. However, these immune reactions are normal and not experienced by everyone.

The CDC recommends that everyone receive a flu vaccine by the end of October for optimal prevention. 

It takes approximately two weeks for your body to produce the antibodies that protect you from the flu, the CDC said. This is why some people may contract the flu after receiving a vaccination.

“It is common for people to be anxious,” McRae said. “I would encourage them to get the vaccine and expect the arm to be sore for about a day.”

Flu vaccines are also now available in the Student Health Center. There is no cost for students and an appointment is not necessary to receive the shot.

Student Health Services have given out more  than 200 flu vaccines this season. By the end of the term, it is typical for that number to reach 500.

The clinic is located on the first floor of the Wellness and Recreation Center at West Campus. Students will need their Bobcat card to receive the shot. 

The clinic is open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. to administer flu vaccines. The vaccine costs $20 for faculty and staff.