Health officials at Eastern Michigan University’s Snow Health Center said there are flu vaccinations available for students and employees after the center used all their supplies last week.
“We have about 100 doses and can get more if they run out,” said Snow Health Center’s staff nurse Lori Kilian.
“All through December we would give two to three vaccinations a day,” Kilian said. “Then we started giving 15 a day. Then some afternoons we’d give 60 shots in a half hour.”
Kimberly Keller is the chief of medical staff at Snow Health Center.
“We have given a lot more vaccines than I ever remember, but we haven’t seen as many people sick. That’s kind of the goal I suppose,” Keller said.
Kilian said the flu usually lasts a week, but sufferers can develop secondary infections like pneumonia, ear infections or bronchitis. The flu could possibly lead to hospitalization or death.
“It basically feels like you’ve been hit with a Mack truck,” Kilian said of flu symptoms.
Kilian said influenza is a very serious disease that becomes contagious 24 hours before there are any symptoms, and people are infectious before they even know they are sick.
EMU junior Justin Smith said most students probably don’t take advantage of the free vaccines.
“I didn’t know they were available, and I don’t think many other students know they have easy access to them. When I’m sick, I usually just fight it off,” he said.
Kilian said students should get the vaccine earlier in the flu season.
“People can get the vaccine in August. It takes around 14 days to develop immunity,” she said.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website said flu season activity usually peaks during January and February, but it is unpredictable and the numbers of those infected with the disease fluctuates every year.
“In an environment like college, with students and faculty often travelling internationally, a spike can occur anytime,” Keller said.
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