The Necessity of the Flu Shot


Skyler Singsouvanny

Michael Taber receives his flu shot at the COS Health Center.

Alexis Perez, Reporter

Flu season has been upon us for a couple of months now. Doctors are urging people to take the flu shot to protect themselves and others from passing the flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projected that the flu killed 80,000 people last season. This is higher than a regular season.

Cynthia Norvall from the Student Health Services Center described the importance of vaccines via herd immunity,

“If you have 95 of those 100 people immunized with the flu vaccine you only have 5 left that can acquire the flu.” said Norvall

There is a lot of misinformation about vaccines, such as they can cause autism. It first originated in a paper by Andrew Wakefield and is what most people against vaccines use to prove their point. The paper has been scrutinised, and Andrew Wakefield’s medical license was revoked when similar studies on thousands of children found that there was no link to autism. The study itself has been heavily retracted.

Norvall also said that one of the risks is that a very small minority of people develop a neurological disease known as The Epstein-Barr virus. Another side effect is that some could have an allergic reaction.

There will be some muscle soreness. If there are some more serious symptom such as difficulty breathing, rash and/or hives that they seek medical care. However she knows that the vaccine is designed to protect against the flu and makes sure to tell students that too. Students need to get the flu vaccine not only to protect themselves, but also protect those that are immunocompromised or simply didn’t get the vaccine.

The flu shot is free to all COS students currently enrolled. Their hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 8 AM to 4:45 PM and Friday from 8 AM to 1 PM. Students can also call Student Health Center office at (559) – 730 – 3880.