Carrie Lloyd, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology was assured that she could not get sick after receiving a flu shot. She was inoculated with an inactivated virus, so getting sick was just a weird coincidence, she was told.
“It was quite a coincidence, though,” she said. “I mean, it was literally the worst flu of my life. It was horrible! It lasted longer than any flu I’ve ever had. It lasted, like, four days and just wiped me out.”
After getting sick Lloyd said she is skeptical about whether the shot actually prevents the flu or if it’s simply a money-maker.
“I think it’s more of a control kind of thing,” she said, “like in big institutions.”
Over the past 12 months, 27.2 percent of 18 through 49 year olds have gotten a flu shot, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some students agree with Lloyd about avoiding the flu shot.
“It’s just a big hype for the government to get more money,” Cassidy Smith, a sophomore, said. “I never get them.”
Zorrell Barnes, a senior, said he agreed with Smith.
“I think it’s a scam, to be honest,” he said. “I don’t think they really work.”
Other students disagreed.
Kara Schick, a freshman, has had flu shots before and would do so again.
“I think they’re important,” Schick said. “I think everyone should get them.”
The CDC and experts at HU and at IU Health say that the best way to prevent this yearly sickness is to get a flu vaccine.
“People never know when they’re going to get really sick from the flu,” Margaret Winter, Ed.D., associate professor of nursing and director of the HU nursing department, said. “I do believe it’s a very good idea, especially if somebody has such things as asthma or some other kind of chronic disease.”
The CDC describes the symptoms of seasonal influenza (the type of flu that people most often get during the chillier months) as feeling feverish or chills, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, headaches and fatigue.
Although flu shots won’t be offered on campus until October 2013, it is not too late to get vaccinated.
CVS, located on Jefferson Street, offers flu shots until March from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily. The cost is $31.99 if no insurance is given. Both the intramuscular and the intradermal vaccines are offered and no appointment is required.