Flu season suppressed with shots

Flu season has come around once again, and Butler University is offering free influenza vaccinations for all students, faculty and staff.

Influenza, or flu, vaccinations were available in the Health and Recreation Complex Oct. 3 and 4.     The event was scheduled to extend through Oct. 5, but the HRC did not have the shots available for a third day.

“It wasn’t a shortage,” said Julie Howerton, director of health servces. “We ordered 1,100 doses. I called the drug company to have them deliver them early because so many places were giving them earlier than usual. We got half of our supply last week.”

Health services will receive the rest of the shipment the week after Fall Break, Howerton said. Staff will determine new distribution dates and times once the supplies arrive.

“We don’t want to give a date until we can confirm the date,” Howerton said.

Flu season frequently begins in October, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, and can last until as late as May. The peak of flu activity is normally around January.

The 2011-2012 flu season was less severe than usual, according to the CDC website.  The site states that the severity of the coming season is impossible to predict but that every person over the age of six months should receive a vaccine.

“CDC recommends that people get vaccinated against influenza as soon as the 2012-2013 flu season vaccine becomes available in their community,” a statement on the website said.

The CDC recommends the vaccine annually because different strains are prevalent from season to season, Howerton said. Each year’s vaccine focuses on the strain predicted to be the most popular.

Freshman Tim Blanusa said that after having the flu in the past, he knows he would not be able to handle his schoolwork while being sick.

“Life’s too high-paced,” Blanusa said. “Don’t take the risk. Get your flu vaccine. It makes me feel safe.”

Influenza is a respiratory disease, Howerton said, and is airborne. This means that it spreads most often through coughing and sneezing.

Sophomore Kelly Freiberger said the close proximity of students on a college campus is the reason she opts for the flu shot.

“Living on a college campus is not exactly the healthiest environment,” Freiberger said. “I figured getting a flu shot would be a smart decision.”

For any Butler students, faculty, or staff members who are unable to attend the HRC during the scheduled distribution times, many local pharmacies offer flu vaccinations as well.

The closest Walgreens to campus is on the corner of 38th Street and College Avenue. Pharmacy hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The location accepts walk-in patients.

The CVS near the corner of 16th Street and North Meridian Street has a 24-hour pharmacy. Walk-in patients are accepted and may recieve the flu shot at any time of day.

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