Members of the CSUN faculty and staff lined up on Thursday to get their flu shots to prevent sickness in the upcoming flu season.
The flu, also known as influenza, is a contagious virus that can be spread by coughing or sneezing. The flu usually consists of one or more symptoms: fever, sore throat, headache, chills, muscle aches and fatigue. The flu can lead to pneumonia and can be dangerous for people with breathing or heart conditions.
Flu shots were offered to faculty and staff on the lower level of the Oviatt library for $15. Suzanne Blanding, compliance officer at Research and Sponsored Projects, said that it is very helpful that CSUN offers flu shots for faculty and staff members. Blanding hasn’t had a flu shot in a few years but hopes it will help her stay healthy during this flu season.
‘If it doesn’t work this time around I think I am just going to forget about getting a flu shot and just deal with it,’ Blanding said.
According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 226,000 people are hospitalized every year because of the flu virus. The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine that contains killed virus that is injected in the muscle of the arm. The vaccine takes up to two weeks to develop protection against the virus and can last up to a year.
The vaccine is recommended for anyone who wants to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with the flu or spreading the virus to others around them. Influenza viruses are always changing. Since scientists continue to update the vaccines, getting vaccinated once a year is recommended. It is approved for people older than six months old.
Karen Kearns, associate dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication, took advantage of the opportunity.
‘I get exposed to a lot of viruses being on campus and I find that this keeps me healthy,’ Kearns said. ‘I think it’s wonderful.’
Keiko Herrata, a political science faculty member hopes that the flu vaccine will help her avoid the virus. She said she also gets the flu shot every year and believes it helps her stay healthy.
The Klotz Student Health Center also offers flu shots for students for $15 by appointment. It is important to get a flu shot if you are living in the dorms, or under other crowded conditions to prevent outbreaks, according to the health center.
Moises Luna, 18, an electrical engineering major, said that he did not know that CSUN offered flu shots.
‘I would get a flu shot because it’s only $15, and it wouldn’t mess with my insurance,’ said Luna.
According to the CDC, flu shots are given as early as September. It is recommended to get a flu shot in October or November. The flu virus can occur anytime from November through May, but most often peaks in January or February.