Ignore Jenny McCarthy and get Vaccinated
The most wonderful time of year has arrived: Flu Season!
Sam Ridgway, Staff Writer
Every year, as predictable as Halloween or Christmas, flu season arrives. From October until May, every student, professor and family member obsessively washes their hands and sanitizer stands pop up around campus. Many people swear by regular use of oregano oil or eating massive amounts of garlic or chicken soup.A lot of people try to stay warm but it can be tough when cold Alberta winters arrive. So what is the best way to prevent the dreaded flu virus? A quick and simple shot at your local pharmacy or even right here at MRU. Flu vaccines in Alberta change every year because flu viruses evolve quickly. This means that unlike more stable viruses that require a one-time vaccination, you will need to continue getting vaccinated for the flu. It’s a real bummer, but so is being sick. This year the vaccine protects against Influenza A H1N1, Influenza A H3N2, and an Influenza B virus. These viruses lead to fever, coughs, sore throats, congestion, muscle aches, headaches and fatigue. The only thing that could make finals worse would bean energy-draining virus like the flu. Once you get your vaccine, it takes approximately two weeks for your body to fully develop the antibodies it needs to prevent an illness. While you cannot get the flu from the vaccine, you can get the flu during this two-week period. However, once you have received the shot, you will have much milder symptoms than without it.Even if you believe you have an ironclad immune system that fends off influenza, you should get vaccinated. Why? Because so many people cannot, and even if you don’t get sick, you can still carry and transmit the virus to those people who are unable to get vaccinated. People are unable to get vaccinated against influenza for a variety of reasons, ranging from allergies to age and beyond. Infants under six months of age are not able to receive the vaccination, individuals with egg allergies are unable to receive the vaccination and often individuals undergoing chemotherapy or other intensive medical treatments are recommended not to have any vaccinations. In order to protect these vulnerable groups from an illness that is far more likely to be life threatening than it would be on a healthy individual;we need what is called herd immunity or, put simply, a majority of the population that has been immunized. Now that you know how important it is to get vaccinated, check out AlbertaHealthServices.ca to find out where you can do so. The website has an extensive list of local clinics, including vaccination schedules including one that will be held here on campus;as well as additional information on the differences
between influenza, the common cold, and stomach flu. The website includes frequently asked questions about immunization, and updates on vaccination reports from across the province.