Flu vaccinations have been a topic of debate for many years now due to a number of factors—such as skepticism towards their possible “side effects.” The speculations regarding the side effects have actually been proven to be false, but a number of people still choose to ignore this and remain skeptical of vaccinations. Regardless, during the midst of this flu season, I feel that it is crucial to stress the importance of flu vaccinations to our students. However, I do not feel as if enough effort has been made to make this issue a priority on campus.
Being a winter transfer from another university, the last thing that I wanted to have to worry about as I arrived on campus was dealing with the flu. Unfortunately, though, I caught the flu after only being in St. Louis for two days, and had to deal with the illness throughout my first couple of weeks as a Billiken. Obviously, the University was not at fault for my illness, but the point I am trying to make is that the flu is prevalent at this time of the year, and action needs to take place to prevent other students like me from becoming affected.
Now, it is easy for me to talk about this issue as I have recently been directly impacted by the flu, but it’s not only me who has caught the illness over the past number of weeks. In fact, I was made aware just the other day that more than half of our men’s baseball team has already caught the flu this month. To no surprise, the players on the team that were not affected by the flu had previously received their flu shot. I’m sure a large number of other SLU students have also been affected by the flu this season, and for these reasons, I feel that flu vaccinations and their benefits should be something that the University begins to place more importance on in the near future.
In order to bring awareness to this issue, the University should first and foremost notify all SLU students that flu vaccinations are available to everyone. Whether it be by email or by hanging up flyers all around the school. No student should be unaware that they are able to receive a flu shot on campus. Also, the importance of flu shots and the benefits of receiving one should be something that is stressed by the University. As I mentioned earlier, the supposed “side effects” of receiving the vaccination were proven to be false, so it should not be a problem to inform all students of the benefits of flu shots, as well as the high risk of becoming ill by not being vaccinated.
Prior to having the flu earlier this semester, I knew that flu shots were available on campus, but throughout my life, I have rarely been given a flu shot and had still never been affected by the illness. Because of this, I have been ignorant to the amount of risk I have been putting myself in and have ignored a number of benefits from receiving the vaccination.
However, after being directly impacted by the flu, I now understand the importance of being vaccinated, especially during the flu season. Many students on campus still do not fully understand the importance of flu shots at this time of year, which is why it is crucial to not only inform students of the availability of the vaccination, but to educate them on facts of the matter as well.
Before the flu begins to spread rapidly across campus, students should make sure to receive their flu shots. If one student gets affected, they could potentially spread the illness to a number of others, which could soon lead to a flu epidemic on campus. Obviously, this would negatively impact the classroom and overall college experience for all students. Those with the flu would have to miss out on classes and any extracurricular activities, and even students without the flu would have to experience an emptier, less active version of campus due to the absence of students with the illness. Overall, this could all become problematic for everyone on campus and, in order to prevent this, the University must act soon.