Nursing students will offer flu clinic, shots Oct. 28-29

Kelly Petryszyn

The leaves turning orange and the air getting chilly signals the beginning of flu season, which means it is time for flu shots.

The flu vaccine is now available at DeWeese Health Center for $25. The health center recommends all students and staff get flu shots, said adult nurse practitioner Lori Christopher in an e-mail.

“All people, no matter how healthy, are at some risk of developing severe and even fatal influenza infections,” she said.

About 1,200 students, faculty and staff received the flu vaccine last year at Kent State, Christopher said. The health center diagnosed 100 cases of the flu last year.

This year, she said, the flu has not yet hit Kent State.

The flu, or Influenza, “is a virus that infects the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs,” according to the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The Center for Disease Control recommends people get the flu shot any time after September, Christopher said. Generally, students get their shots in October, November and December.

Christopher said she recommends students get the shot to prevent “getting infected with the influenza virus.”

Flu symptoms include fever, non-productive cough, sore throat, headache, nasal congestion, fatigue, runny nose and body aches that are sometimes severe and last for days, she said.

The Vaccine Education Center recommends students get the shot every year because the strain of flu circulating differs.

Christopher said the most common side effect of the vaccine is redness or tenderness at the injection site.

“It can also cause body aches and a low-grade fever, but because the vaccine is inactivated, it can’t cause the flu,” she said.

The health center encourages “students to make an appointment if they are getting the injection through our immunizations department, but we can usually accommodate students if they walk in without an appointment,” Christopher said.

The nursing staff at the immunization department in the health center administers the vaccine. Kent State College of Nursing students, however, will give the shots during the health center’s mass flu clinic, Christopher said.

The nursing students will offer a walk-in flu clinic Oct. 28 and Oct. 29 in Conference Room A in the lower level of the health center.

Contact news correspondent Kelly Petryszyn at [email protected].