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SHC offering flu vaccine now

Lisa Thurmond
Staff Writer
elthurmond@valdosta.edu

 The Student Health Center now has the seasonal flu vaccine available to all students for $10. Students must call Farber to make a five minute appointment to receive the flu vaccination. Students may pay for the flu vaccine with cash, check or their Flex account.
 According to the American Lung Association, “every year, an estimated 15 to 61 million people in the United States contract the influenza virus, more commonly known as the flu. This respiratory infection is highly contagious and passed in the air from person to person through sneezes and coughs.” The risk of catching the flu can be greatly reduced with an annual flu vaccination.
 The “flu shot” is a vaccine containing the inactivated virus and is administered with a needle, usually in the arm. Once one receives the vaccine, it takes two weeks to build immunity, meaning that antibodies which provide protection against the influenza virus infection develop in the body. One may have minor side effects from the shot, including soreness at the injection site, mild muscle ache or a slight fever. If side effects occur, they usually last one to two days and are more likely to occur in people who have never been exposed to the flu virus.
 The vaccine lasts through the entire flu season until March or April. The seasonal flu vaccine will be offered until the supply runs out. “It’s better to get it early to build your immunity before the flu season,” said Dr. Edwin L. Hiatt, Student Health Center Medical Director.
The vaccine has previously only been available to students. However, starting today, faculty and staff will now be able to receive the vaccine for $20 with an appointment.
Student Health Services will offer the flu vaccine on-campus for students, faculty and staff on Tuesday October 20th from 10 a.m. to noon at the Education Center, and on Thursday October 22nd from 10 a.m. to noon at Palms Quad. The seasonal flu vaccine will also be provided at the Alcohol Awareness Fair on October 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Palms Quad. To receive the vaccine at these locations, a VSU ID along with cash or check is required.�
This seasonal flu shot will not protect against the H1N1 virus. A separate vaccine has been developed for H1N1. The Student Health Center will soon be providing a vaccine for the H1N1 virus. This vaccine will be free for students once it is received. “We are expecting a delivery; we just don’t know when—in the next several days or some time this month,” said Hiatt.

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