Flu season has officially started, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. From Oct. 14-16, Chapman’s Student Health Services will be selling and administering flu vaccines from 8:30 a.m. to noon, and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The shots are given to walk-ins only. For students the shots are $15, and are not covered by Chapman’s health insurance. The vaccines are free of charge for faculty and staff. In previous years the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention suggested vaccination for children and the elderly. A report done by the Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases noted that California had sporadic influenza activity this past year. So this year, they suggest everyone to get vaccinated. The vaccinations have been available free to faculty and staff starting last year as a courtesy to employees, according to Jacqueline Deats, Chapman’s Director of Student Health. It is like Doti giving us gelatos. Just a nice perk that Chapman provides,” said Deats. Faculty and staff can only receive shots on Monday and Wednesday. The $15 fee covers the cost of the vaccine, which is bought from an outside vender, said Deats. “We want to make the flu shots affordable to students, not a deterrent,” said Deats. Like last year, there are approximately 450 vaccinations available over a three day period. Three days is how long the health center can hire nurses to help administer the shots, said Deats. Left over vaccines after Oct. 16 will be offered first come first serve starting the following Monday. According to the CDC, flu shots are made of dead influenza viruses. Each year the vaccines are changed to match the influenza viruses that are likely to spread that year. The vaccine takes up to two weeks to develop, and protection is good for up to one year. The CDC recommends people living in dormitories or other environments with crowded conditions to get vaccinated. Junior Marissa Ing took the vaccine last year, and plans to do so again this year. She got the flu her freshman year,from one of her roommates. “Three other people on my floor had the flu too,” said Ing. “That’s pretty disgusting.” Faculty and staff get the vaccinations more often than students, said Deats. But the health services do not keep tabs on who gets the vaccine. She believes faculty and staff are more cautious about their health, since the flu vaccinations are usually geared toward an older population. Rachael Gottlieb, special events assistant for university advancement, got the flu twice last year. Since she currently lives with her fianc’s grandmother, even more so she wants to get vaccinated. She’s thankful that getting the vaccine is convenient. “Everyone says you have to get the vaccine, so I am going to try it this year,” said Gottlieb. Orange County’s Health Care Agency offers free flu shots in Santa Ana and Buena Park. However, they are restricted to children aged six months to 18 years old, anyone over 50 or people with health problems that make them easily susceptible to getting the flu. Local pharmacies such as Walgreen’s, CVS and even Costco charge around $20 to $30 for the shots. All accept health insurance to cover the fee, but not all health insurers cover flu vaccinations. “I would rather get vaccinated at home, but a vaccine is a vaccine,” said Ing. “I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Flu season has officially started, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.