Free Flu Shots

For BVU Students and Staff


Benjamin Turman III, Contributing Writer

Tis’ the season of giving and what better way to give back to the students and staff here at BVU than with free flu shots, courtesy of the health services on campus.

In order to receive the free flu shots, students and staff will first have to book an appointment through the health services section on the BVU website. The email sent out from the President’s office on October 2 also has a link embedded in it that takes you right to the booking page for your convenience. This offer will last as long as there are flu vaccines available. “Everybody, anybody can come until they are gone,” says nurse Tami Laursen of BVU Health Services and Wellness.

As the temperature begins to drop, the likelihood of one falling ill increases. Flu season is among us and now more than ever it is important to keep others, as well as yourself from getting sick. Influenza (Flu) is a viral infection that targets the victims throat, lungs, and nose. Those who are most at risk of contracting the influenza virus include children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions. With that being said even if you do not fit the criteria of being an at-risk individual, it is still recommended that you get the vaccine to ensure the protection of others

Not to be confused with the Influenza virus, Covid-19 poses its own set of symptoms that are not seen in the flu. “Very rarely do you get diarrhea with the flu, you can get it with Covid, very rarely do you have a sore throat with the flu, you can have it with Covid. Usually you don’t get shortness of breath with the flu, but you can with Covid. Loss of taste and smell is very very common in Covid but not with flu; having a runny nose is more indicative of flu than Covid,” says nurse Lori Stanton also of BVU Health Services and Wellness.

It goes without saying that Covid-19 and the Influenza virus are not the same thing however, some of the precautions used for Covid-19 can also be applied to the Influenza virus. In an interview with nurses Laursen and Stanton they explained the basic precautions one can take to prevent themselves from getting sick. “Wash your hands, that’s a given, that is the number one thing you can do to prevent any type of infection. Don’t share things, don’t cough or sneeze without covering your mouth and nose with your elbow or a Kleenex. It is also really important to wash your mask if you aren’t wearing a disposable one,” Laursen explains. It is not rocket science, washing your hands is an extremely effective way of preventing other people from getting sick and taking other preventive measures such as washing your mask and covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing can go a long way in helping minimize the spread of germs.

They also touched base on some of the common symptoms someone who has the flu may experience. “Typically, in the past with the flu in students they get a really harsh dry cough, they get really achy and they seem really tired,” Stanton adds. BVU Health Services and Wellness officials highly recommend BVU students and staff receive the vaccine because of its effectiveness in combating the flu, as well as making it easier to decipher whether a sick student is suffering from Covid-19, Influenza, a cold or if it is just allergies. “It’s a way to prevent yourself from getting the flu and it helps us determine if this is something that we need to think about in regards to Covid or if it is just the flu. It helps to decide in assessment situations for the nurses and for individuals. I have my flu shot and I usually don’t get the flu because I do that [get vaccinated] every year, so it’s a really good thing to do and it boosts your immune system,” says Laursen. Getting a flu shot is not just protecting you and those around you, but it also makes the lives of those in Health Services easier especially during this difficult time.

One of the common misconceptions about the flu shot is that after receiving it, it will cause you to get sick which is not necessarily the case. “Students cannot get sick from the flu vaccine because it is not a live virus. It’s an attenuated vaccine meaning it is dead; you can get a mild fever and feel a little achy for a day or two, but you cannot get the influenza from it. People use the term flu synonymously like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea that’s stomach flu. This is influenza, upper respiratory flu,” explains Laursen. The flu vaccine poses no threat to your body; in fact, it does the exact opposite which makes it all the more beneficial. Though highly recommended, if a student or faculty member chooses not to get a flu shot, there are still ways to keep yourself and others safe. “Another big part of this and I think a big part of Covid too is just being healthy, so eating right, drinking plenty of water, getting exercise, getting sufficient sleep, and rest. Those are all key,” Stanton adds. The healthier your body is, the tougher it will be on the influenza virus, so make sure you are treating your body right during this season.

Flu season has arrived, and it could not have picked a more turbulent time than now. It cannot be stressed enough how important getting a flu shot is now and it does not even cost a penny. Take advantage of this opportunity because your body will thank you for it in the long run.